Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. A’s – 06/15/10

Game Sixty-Four: Cubs (28-35) vs. A’s (32-33)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (2-4, 6.05/1.70) vs. Trevor Cahill (5-2, 2.91/1.15)

Updated – 4:18pm CDT – John Grabow Activated from 15-day DL – Mitch Atkins Optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Weather permitting … Can the Chicago Cubs win two games in a row? The last time the Cubs posted back-to-back wins was May 23 and May 25. Lou Piniella’s crew completed the series win in Texas then beat the Dodgers in the first game at Wrigley. That was the last time the Cubs posted more than a single win … and the last time the Cubs won a series (two of three against LA).

It is been a long time since the Cubs showed any positive consistency.

The Oakland A’s will play their second series at Wrigley Field since Interleague play began. The last time the Athletics played a series at Wrigley was back in 2004 … and the Cubs took two of three then. Can they repeat the feat six years later?

Several familiar names will make their return to Wrigley tonight. Eric Patterson and Michael Wuertz along with former Cub farmhand Jerry Blevins. The most notable ex-Cub, Jake Fox, was DFA’d by Oakland on Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs will face Gio Gonzalez Wednesday night and Dallas Braden Thursday afternoon … Lou’s crew will miss Ben Sheets. Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells will start the other two games of the series.

Carlos Zambrano will make only his second home start of the season tonight. Big Z received a no-decision against the Brewers back on tax day (April 15) … the Cubs lost the game 8-6.

John Grabow is expected to be activated before game time with Mitch Atkins optioned back to Iowa. Grabow picked up in Iowa where he left off with the big league team … and Grabow continues to prove how bad his signing was in the off-season. Grabow is one of the latest free-agent signings that could have been avoided if the Cubs did a better job of evaluating their own minor league talent.

The Cubs are 3-3 in Interleague play so far this year … and maybe during the day off the Cubs remembered how to hit the baseball with runners in scoring position

Tonight it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off his second win of the season … but the Cubs’ lone victory in Milwaukee had little to do with Big Z. Zambrano did not throw the ball well. He departed after five innings, five walks and three runs allowed. Zambrano allowed only two hits, but one was a double to Randy Wolf that almost left the park.

Zambrano is in need of a solid outing tonight … and his team is in need of a win.

Big Z is 0-1 in nine games, one start, at home this season with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. Teams are hitting a robust .304 against him at Wrigley.

Tonight will be Zambrano’s second career start against the Athletics. Z is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Big Z beat the A’s on June 20, 2004 and allowed one run on five hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

A’s Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Rajai Davis 1-for-4 with a double
  • Gabe Gross – 2-for-9 with a double and 5 walks
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff – 1-for-8 with a triple
  • Adam Rosales – 1-for-3 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look at Trevor Cahill tonight. The 22-year old right-hander is having an excellent season for Oakland. Cahill is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP … after posting a 4-1 record in six starts in May with a 1.96 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Cahill has walked just 19 batters in 55 2/3 innings.

Cahill has been very effective on the road as well. In five road starts, Cahill is 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA and a lower WHIP (1.10 to 1.21) than at home.

Trevor Cahill is coming off an impressive eight-inning performance against the Angels. He allowed just one run on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Marlon Byrd (4-for-10 with two doubles and a walk) is the only player on the Cubs’ roster that has ever faced Trevor Cahill.

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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