Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 04/05/10

Game One – Opening Day: Cubs (0-0) vs. Braves (0-0)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WCIU, ESPN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Turner Field, Atlanta

Carlos Zambrano (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Derek Lowe (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the Air! Spring Training is over … It’s Opening Day.

After making the trip from Arizona to Atlanta, the Cubs held a 40-minute workout at Turner Field on Sunday in preparation for Opening Day. Lou Piniella will run out a lineup today that many have expected for several weeks.

Carlos Zambrano takes the hill this afternoon for his sixth consecutive Opening Day. Zambrano ended his first game struggles a year ago with a win in Houston. Zambrano is one of the many keys for the Cubs this year. It will be important for him and his team to have a strong, positive start to the season in order to help forget about what happened a year ago.

After sweeping the season series against the Braves in 2008, the Cubs were only 2-4 against Atlanta last year … 1-2 at Turner Field.

For the eighth time in nine seasons, the third under Lou Piniella, the Cubs will begin a new season away from Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs were officially put up for sale on Opening Day in 2007 … the first year under Lou Piniella. Three years later the Cubs will have their new owners in attendance this afternoon in Turner Field. For the first time since the Wrigley Family sold the Cubs to the Tribune Company in 1981, the Chicago Cubs will have recognizable owners at Opening Day cheering on their team. Tom Ricketts, as well as Pete, Laura and Todd are expected to be in Atlanta this afternoon.

Today is a new beginning in the storied history of the Chicago National League Ball Club, Inc.

According to reports on Sunday, the Cubs first lineup of 2010 will be:

  1. Ryan Theriot – SS
  2. Kosuke Fukudome – RF
  3. Derrek Lee – 1B
  4. Aramis Ramirez – 3B
  5. Marlon Byrd – CF
  6. Alfonso Soriano – LF
  7. Mike Fontenot – 2B
  8. Geovany Soto – C
  9. Carlos Zambrano – P

Braves Opening Day Lineup:

  1. Melky Cabrera – LF
  2. Martin Prado – 2B
  3. Chipper Jones – 3B
  4. Brian McCann – C
  5. Troy Glaus – 1B
  6. Yunel Escobar – SS
  7. Jason Heyward – RF
  8. Nate McLouth – CF
  9. Derek Lowe – P

Carlos Zambrano is coming off a disappointing season (9-7, 3.77 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP) and committed himself in the off-season to putting 2009 behind him. Zambrano spent the winter in Chicago with a trainer, got in shape and vowed to pitch to expectations in 2010. Zambrano showed up to camp early, put together a solid spring and now its time for him to produce results on the field.

Zambrano is 2-3 in 11 career starts against the Braves with a 4.48 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP … at Turner Field, 1-0 in three starts with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Last season Big Z lost his only game against Atlanta. Zambrano allowed two runs on five hits in six innings with three walks and six strikeouts.

Braves’ Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Yunel Escobar – 0-for-6 with a walk
  • Troy Glaus – 3-for-10 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Eric Hinske – 1-for-3
  • Chipper Jones – 6-for-23 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
  • Derek Lowe – 0-for-8
  • Brian McCann – 7-for-12 with a double
  • Nate McLouth – 5-for-24 with a double, a triple and 7 walks
  • Martin Prado – 1-for-2

Many are picking the Atlanta Braves to represent the Senor Circuit in the World Series. Not only is this the final season for Bobby Cox, which his players are using as motivation, Atlanta arguably has the best pitching staff in the National League. The Braves’ pitching a year ago was the strength of the team, with the addition of Jason Heyward; many feel the Braves will have more than enough offense.

Derek Lowe is coming off a disappointing season (15-10, 4.67 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP) and spent the winter dealing with countless trade rumors. Lowe is a big game pitcher, one that has always had his way with the Chicago Cubs.

Derek Lowe is 2-1 in nine career starts against the Cubs with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. The Cubs have always had trouble laying off his sinker and must not swing at his pitch this afternoon.

Today will be the first test for Cubs’ new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.

Cubs’ Career Numbers against Derek Lowe

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Mike Fontenot – 4-for-8 with 2 doubles
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-8 with a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 12-for-30 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
  • Xavier Nady – 2-for-10 with a home run
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-13 with a double and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-56 with 2 doubles and 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Ryan Theriot – 2-for-12 with a double
  • Chad Tracy – 6-for-30 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-7

For the record, the Cubs are 1-2 on Opening Day under Lou Piniella … and the Cubs’ skipper is 12-9 in his career on the first game of the year.

While waiting for the first pitch, don’t forget to make your predictions for the Cubs in Twenty-Ten.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is all I ever wanted. I could eat, sleep, and dream baseball." - Smoky Joe Wood

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