Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 06/09/10

Game Fifty-Nine: Cubs (26-32) vs. Brewers (24-34)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball – Radio: WIND-AM 560, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Carlos Zambrano (1-4, 6.14/1.75) vs. Randy Wolf (4-5, 4.66/1.58)

How will Lou Piniella’s crew respond to the difficult loss Tuesday night? Tonight is a big test for the Chicago Cubs. Many feel their season is already over but the Cubs still see themselves as contenders for the Central. The players once again said all of the right things following Tuesday’s loss … it is past time for them to put their money where their mouth is.

The last time the Cubs won back-to-back games was May 22 – May 25 … a three-game winning streak against the Rangers and Dodgers.

With Aramis Ramirez on the DL and Chad Tracy back with the team, it will be interesting to see how Lou Piniella uses Tracy. Tracy will likely sit tonight in favor of Jeff Baker with Randy Wolf on the mound.

It is no secret that Lou likes playing the lefty-righty match-ups but that must cease to exist when it comes to Tyler Colvin. The Cubs need to find out if Colvin is an everyday player. Everyday players face lefties and righties and Lou is still treating him as a platoon player. Either let one of the few players on the big league roster that is producing play or send Colvin down to Iowa.

The last time Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wolf faced one another at Miller Park was September 14, 2008. Wolf wore an Astros’ uniform at the time and Zambrano threw a no-hitter.

Pat Hughes and Ron Santo can be heard on WIND-AM 560 … sister station of WGN. The Cubs allowed WGN Radio to air the Blackhawks Stanley Cup game against the Flyers … GO HAWKS!

Tonight it all begins with Carlos Zambrano … and starting a winning streak.

Carlos Zambrano said he had butterflies in his return to the rotation Friday in Houston. Zambrano took the loss after barely making it out of the first inning. To his credit Zambrano settled down but left after just 4 1/3 innings. Big Z allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Once again Zambrano threw a lot of pitches, one of the many reasons he’s not been as effective the past two seasons. Zambrano must start limiting his pitch count and go deeper into games.

Big Z received a no decision in a Cubs’ loss to the Brewers back on April 15. Zambrano struggled and allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. Z has allowed five runs, four earned, on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings to the Brewers this season with four walks and eight strikeouts (5.68 ERA and a 2.21 WHIP).

Zambrano is 10-8 in 28 career games, 26 starts, versus the Brewers with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP … at Miller Park, 7-5 in 14 games, 13 starts, with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Brewers’ Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Ryan Braun – 8-for-29 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Craig Counsell – 7-for-30 with 2 doubles and 6 walks
  • Jim Edmonds – 10-for-43 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 8 walks
  • Alcides Escobar – 1-for-6 with a triple
  • Prince Fielder – 13-for-36 with 5 doubles, 2 home runs and 12 walks
  • Jody Gerut – 2-for-7 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Carlos Gomez – 1-for-1
  • Corey Hart – 8-for-24 with a double, a triple and 4 walks
  • Casey McGehee – 3-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Rickie Weeks – 8-for-35 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Randy Wolf – 0-for-2

The Cubs will face another old nemesis tonight in Randy Wolf. Wolf has given the Chicago Cubs fits for years … but not consistently. Wolf will dominate the Cubs then get shelled, there does not seem to be an in between. The key to beating Wolf is making him work. If the Cubs start swinging at his pitch it is going to be another frustrating game.

The Cardinals knocked Wolf around in his last start. Wolf gave up five runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Wolf walked four and struck out four.

After a good start to his Brewers career (2-1 in five April starts with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP), Wolf struggled in May (2-3 in six starts with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP) and did not fare too well in his first outing in June.

Wolf is 2-1 in six starts at Miller Park with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Tonight will mark the 18th time Wolf has started a game against the Cubs. He is 5-7 in the first 17 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP … last year Wolf posted a 2-0 record in two starts versus the Cubs with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP.

Cubs’ Career Numbers against Randy Wolf

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Mike Fontenot – 0-for-2
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Derrek Lee – 11-for-42 with 4 doubles, a triple and 5 walks
  • Xavier Nady – 1-for-8
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-25 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-22 with 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 4-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Ryan Theriot – 4-for-17 with a walk
  • Chad Tracy – 3-for-12 with a double

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver