Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 09/21/10

Game One Hundred Fifty: Cubs (68-81) vs. Giants (84-66)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 3.75/1.51) vs. Matt Cain (12-10, 3.08/1.10)

Updated 7:02pm CDT – Mitch Atkins Designated for Assignment – Tyler Colvin and Geovany Soto placed on DL

The Chicago Cubs open their final homestand of the season tonight with the first of three against the San Francisco Giants. Q’s crew is coming off the most successful road trip of at least nine games in the history of the organization (8-1) … that ended on a sour note.

The Cubs will play their final 13 games without two of their better players of the 2010 campaign. With Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin out, it would be a good time to give Welington Castillo and Brad Snyder extended looks. Both players could figure into bench roles next season and the front office needs to find out if both can hit Major League pitching.

Mike Fontenot will make his return to Wrigley tonight. Fontenot was sent to the other clubhouse while the Cubs were in San Francisco last month. Fontenot has hit .295/.340/.318/659 with a double for the Giants in 17 games … wonder if his teammate, Edgar Renteria, ever apologized for slugging him in the face a couple of years back in Atlanta?

The Cubs are 17-7 under Mike Quade and Q will play his veterans during this series.

Carlos Zambrano’s mother will see her son pitch in a big league game for the first time tonight. Z’s mother recently made the trip from Venezuela to Chicago. Tonight it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off his fifth win in a row … and has posted a victory in his last six decisions (6-0 in last seven starts) and if the bullpen could have held the lead against the Padres, Z would be 7-0.

Carlos Zambrano has been pitching since his return to the rotation. He is not letting the little things bother him and appears to be making adjustments as the game wears on. If Zambrano can pitch next season the way he has since August 9, the Cubs could have a number one pitcher back on the roster.

Big Z is 6-0 in his last 11 games, eight starts, with a 1.81 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Other than the alarmingly high number of walks (32 in 54 1/3 innings), Z has performed very well.

Zambrano made his return to the starting rotation back on August 9 against the Giants in San Francisco. Z allowed two runs on four hits in five innings. Zambrano received a no decision in a 4-3 loss to the Giants … Z walked a season-high seven batters with only three strikeouts.

Tonight will be Zambrano’s tenth career start versus San Francisco … 5-1 in ten games, nine starts, with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Giants Career Number against Carlos Zambrano

  • Pat Burrell – 4-for-14 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Matt Cain – 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Aubrey Huff – 1-for-4 with 5 walks
  • Travis Ishikawa – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Buster Posey – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Edgar Renteria – 13-for-34 with a home run and 7 walks
  • Cody Ross – 2-for-10 with a double
  • Aaron Rowand – 0-for-10
  • Freddy Sanchez – 8-for-34 with a double and 2 walks
  • Pablo Sandoval – 1-for-7
  • Juan Uribe – 4-for-25 with a double, a home run and 2 walks

The Cubs will get their second look of the season at Matt Cain … another Giants pitcher that has had his way with the Cubs over the years.

Cain is coming off back-to-back wins against the Padres and Dodgers … he kept the Dodgers off the board in seven innings of work with just three hits allowed and five strikeouts. Cain has been pretty much unbeatable of late.

Cain posted a 2-2 record in six starts last month with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP … he is 2-0 in his last three outings with a 2.86 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP (19 strikeouts, two walks and 15 hits allowed in his last 22 innings).

Tonight will be Cain’s 16th start outside of San Francisco. He is 4-7 with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

The Cubs scored three runs against Cain in the 8-7 loss to the Giants back on August 12. Cain received a no decision after striking out nine and walking just one in six innings of work.

Matt Cain is 5-2 in nine career starts versus the Cubs with a 2.61 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-1 in three starts with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Matt Cain

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-11
  • Marlon Byrd – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 5-for-15 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-12 with a double
  • Sam Fuld – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 3-for-7 with a double and a walk
  • Micah Hoffpauir – one walk
  • Xavier Nady – 3-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Bobby Scales – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-6 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Carlos Zambrano – 0-for-5

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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