Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 04/20/10

Game Fourteen: Cubs (5-8) vs. Mets (5-8)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Citi Field, Flushing Meadows

Carlos Zambrano (1-1, 9.45/2.02) vs. Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 1.38/1.07)

It is a new day and hopefully a different result. The Cubs have lost three games in a row to two teams that many thought were among the worst in the National League. The Cubs are not hitting, especially on the road, and have little room for error … or extra outs.

Lou Piniella’s crew will face a right-handed starter tonight for the last time until Saturday in Milwaukee. Tyler Colvin should get the start for Alfonso Soriano and it would be a good time for Aramis Ramirez to get a breather. Chad Tracy needs to get four at bats if the Cubs want him to produce off the bench and he is the only Cub not to start a game this season.

Aramis Ramirez is struggling and swinging for the fences right now … plus Tracy is 3-for-8 with a double and a walk against Mike Pelfrey.

The Cubs are 2-5 away from Wrigley on the young season and will look to Carlos Zambrano to stop the three-game losing streak …

Which Carlos Zambrano will take the hill at Citi Field tonight? The one that put together a quality start against the Reds … or the one that pitched against the Braves and Brewers. As the Cubs and Big Z talked about for a majority of the off-season it is time for Carlos Zambrano to pitch to his ability.

Zambrano is coming off a rough outing against the Brewers. He received a no decision but departed after five innings and 121 pitches Zambrano’s highest pitch total since he threw 130 in eight innings on May 28, 2008 against the Dodgers. The Brewers jumped on Zambrano early and often. He allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Tonight will be Zambrano’s tenth career start versus the Metropolitans. He is 4-2 in 10 career games, nine starts, with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Big Z faced the Mets twice last year … 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP.

Mets’ Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Rod Barajas – 0-for-3
  • Jason Bay – 14-for-39 with 4 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs and 8 walks
  • Henry Blanco – 0-for-2
  • Luis Castillo – 9-for-17 with 8 walks
  • Alex Cora – 0-for-3
  • Jeff Francoeur – 5-for-22 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Gary Matthews, Jr. – no official at bat, one walk
  • Daniel Murphy – 1-for-7 with a walk
  • Angel Pagan – 3-for-6
  • Jose Reyes – 3-for-18 with a double and a walk
  • Fernando Tatis – 2-for-5
  • David Wright – 3-for-18 with 4 walks

After a less-than-stellar 2009 season, Mike Pelfrey has been lights out in two starts this season … and even picked up his first save in his last outing.

Pelfrey beat the Nationals in his first start back on April 9. He allowed two runs on four hits in six innings with four walks and four strikeouts. In his last start on April 15 versus the Rockies in Colorado, Pelfrey tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Pelfrey struck out six and did not walk a batter.

After Francisco Rodriguez blew the save in the 20-inning marathon in St. Louis on Saturday, Jerry Manuel used Pelfrey in the 20th to close it out … Pelfrey walked a batter and allowed a hit in an inning of work.

Mike Pelfrey’s best start last season came against the Chicago Cubs. Pelfrey tossed an eight-inning gem. The Cubs managed only one run on five hits in eight innings with a walks and five strikeouts. Pelfrey’s victory on September 6, 2009 is the only time the Mets’ 26-year old righty has faced the Cubs.

Cubs’ Career Numbers against Mike Pelfrey

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-6
  • Derrek Lee – 0-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-3
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Chad Tracy – 3-for-8 with a double and a walk

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Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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