Game Ninety-Three: Cubs (47-45) vs. Phillies (53-38)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 3.36/1.32) vs. Jamie Moyer (9-6, 5.58/1.41)
The Cubs enter play today in a three-way tie for second place with the Brewers and Astros, just two games back of the Cardinals, in need of a win. After an embarrassing loss on Monday night and Jayson Werth’s walk-off on Tuesday, the Cubs will turn to Carlos Zambrano to end their two-game losing streak.
A day after reaching 75 games played and vesting his option for 2011, Milton Bradley is expected to be back in the starting lineup against Jamie Moyer. Look for Aramis Ramirez to get the day off following Tuesday night’s game. Jake Fox should be in the starting lineup at either third or behind the plate. Koyie Hill caught all 13 innings but it is hard to imagine Lou Piniella giving Jake Fox his first big league start at catcher with Carlos Zambrano on the mound.
The Cubs’ bullpen is spent after 13 innings on Tuesday coupled with all of the short outings by the starters out of the break … a short start today by Carlos Zambrano is simply not an option.
The offense is overdue for a big game in this series, but it all begins with Carlos Zambrano … and one win at a time. Carlos Zambrano is coming off a win, but it was a shaky outing at best. Zambrano threw a ton of pitches in five innings (113) but drove in the winning runs and lasted just long enough to qualify for the win. Zambrano was his own worst enemy again (one unearned run on four hits in five innings with four walks and six strikeouts). Zambrano has put together a solid season and must step up today with a long start.
Zambrano has pitched better on the road this season than at Wrigley. Big Z is 4-2 in nine starts outside of the Friendly Confines with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP compared to a 2-2 record in eight outings at home with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. However, like Rich Harden, Zambrano is 2-2 in eight day starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP compared to a 4-2 record in nine evening starts with a 2.56 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Regardless of the conditions the Cubs need Carlos Zambrano to pitch, and act, like the ace he is paid to be today.
Today will be Zambrano’s eighth career start against the Phillies. He is 3-3 in the first seven with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in one game with a 7.50 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP (five runs on nine hits in six innings with a walk and six strikeouts). Zambrano is 1-2 in three career starts at Citizens Bank Park with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
- Paul Bako – 1-for-8 with a walk
- Eric Bruntlett – 1-for-9 with a walk
- Gregg Dobbs – 2-for-3 with a double
- Pedro Feliz – 1-for-14 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Howard – 3-for-13 with a double
- Jimmy Rollins – 3-for-17 with a double and a walk
- Carlos Ruiz – 1-for-3
- Matt Stairs – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Chase Utley – 3-for-13 with a double and a walk
- Shane Victorino – 3-for-6 with 2 walks
- Jayson Werth – 0-for-3
Somewhere there is a photo in an attic that has aged badly for Jamie Moyer, because the 47-year old southpaw has found the fountain of youth … and just keeps posting wins. After a horrible start to the season, Moyer has won his last five starts dating back to June 23. In other words, the last time Jamie Moyer lost a game was June 17 to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Moyer has not just won his last five games, but he has dominated in three of the five starts. Moyer is coming off a seven-inning gem against the Marlins. He allowed just one hit and no runs with a walk and four strikeouts.
Moyer is 3-0 in his last three games with a 3.44 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP (seven runs, on 14 hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings).
For as good as Jamie Moyer has been of late, he has struggled at home this season. In his last start at Citizens Bank, Moyer gave up six runs, all earned, on eight hits in five innings to the Reds. For the year, Moyer is 4-4 at home in nine starts with a 6.79 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP … opponents have hit .306 against him.
Moyer has never lost to the team that drafted him back in the sixth round 25 years ago (1984). He is 3-0 in six career starts against the Cubs with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP … last season, 1-0 in two games with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP. The Cubs hit .354 against Moyer but could not beat him.
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-3
- Milton Bradley – 7-for-20 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-6
- Reed Johnson – 11-for-33 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Derrek Lee – 4-for-8 with 3 doubles and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-10 with 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 11-for-50 with a double, 4 home runs and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-9
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….