A Big Night for Big Z – Cubs 4 Brewers 0

Game One Hundred Forty-One – Cubs 4 Brewers 0
WP – Carlos Zambrano (8-6) LP – Dave Bush (7-12) Save – Carlos Marmol (29)

wflag.jpgFriday night at Miller Park belonged to Carlos Zambrano. Not only did Z come within an out of a complete game shutout but he was 3-for-4 at the plate with a RBI and a run scored. Zambrano dominated the Brewers lineup and allowed only three hits after a rocky start.

Zambrano struck out the side in the first but could not throw strikes to start the second. Zambrano issued back-to-back four-pitch walks before a lineout and a 6-4-3 double play got him out of trouble. The Cubs defense turned a pair of double plays early before Zambrano settled down, and sat down the Brewers. Big Z struck out nine on 119 pitches and was a Starlin Castro error away from the 10th complete game of his career.

The high-powered Brewers offense scattered just three hits. A leadoff single in the third by Jonathan Lucroy, a single in the fourth by Prince Fielder and a single in the ninth by Ryan Braun. That was it …

Zambrano posted his fourth straight win and did more that his fare share at the plate.

Carlos Zambrano recorded three of the Cubs’ seven hits in four trips to the plate. Z drove in a run, scored a run and his infield single in the eighth led to the Cubs fourth tally. Zambrano notched the 23rd multi-hit game of his career, third of the 2010 season … and Friday night was the seventh three-hit game of Zambrano’s career.

Friday night was a truly dominating performance by Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano had a hand in all of the action at Miller Park and allowed as many hits on the mound as he had at the dish.

Carlos Marmol threw one pitch in the ninth and retired Casey McGehee on a fly out to right to end the game.

Darwin Barney had a big night at the plate and on the bases. Barney collected two hits in four at bats and scored two of the Cubs’ four runs. Barney continues to be impressive in all facets of the game.

Blake DeWitt did not record a hit but walked twice and scored a run in four trips to the plate.

Marlon Byrd managed only one hit Friday night … but it matched his career high in hits for a single season (155).

Micah Hoffpauir had a horrible night at the plate. Hoffpauir was 0-for-5, left three on base and struck out swinging four times … and looked very bad in the process. Hoffpauir is not the answer for the Cubs at first base moving forward.

The Cubs improved to 10-6 under Mike Quade and Friday night’s victory guaranteed them a winning record against the Brewers for the 2010 season (8-5). The Cubs won for the 61st time this year (61-80), still 19 below the mediocre mark with only 21 games remaining …

The Cubs offense took advantage of the Brewers bad defense and scored three unearned runs on three throwing errors. But Friday night was Zambrano time at Miller Park …

Carlos Zambrano could not find the strike zone in the second. Z struck out the side in the first but threw nine straight balls to start the second. Z issued back-to-back four-pitch walks to Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee. After Chris Dickerson failed on a sac bunt attempt, he lined a 2-1 pitch back up the middle that Zambrano pulled out of the air for the first out. Alcides Escobar hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Darwin Barney reached on a one-out single to center in the third … the Cubs first hit against Dave Bush. Zambrano followed with a single to left. The Cubs then caught a break …

Kosuke Fukudome hit what should have been a 4-6-3 double play but Rickie Weeks threw the ball into left and Barney scored the game’s first run. Z ended up at third and Kosuke stopped at second on the error.

Starlin Castro put together a solid at bat that ended up with a sac fly to left. Zambrano tagged and scored … 2-0 Cubs.

The bottom of the Cubs lineup came through in the sixth and chased Dave Bush from the game. Blake DeWitt worked a two-out walk and advanced to third on a single to right by Darwin Barney. DeWitt broke for second on the 0-1 pitch and Barney knocked the ball into right … it was a very nice piece of situational hitting.

Carlos Zambrano then singled to right center on a 1-1 pitch and drove in DeWitt. Brandon Kintzler took over for Bush and made his big league debut. Kintzler retired Fukudome on a ground out to short to end the inning.

The Brewers’ defense gave the Cubs another run in the top of the eighth. Darwin Barney tapped back to Kameron Loe on a 0-1 pitch with two outs. Loe rushed his throw and the ball ended up in the stands. Barney took second and scored on an infield single by Carlos Zambrano. Z hit a chopper over the mound. Alcides Escobar tried to bare hand the ball and threw wide of Prince Fielder. Barney hustled around third and scored on the Brewers’ third error of the night.

Carlos Zambrano took the hill to start the ninth … with a very respectable pitch count of 108. Zambrano struck out Rickie Weeks and retired Corey Hart on a fly out to right. Ryan Braun singled to left, the Brewers’ third hit, then Z appeared to retire Prince Fielder on a ground out to Castro in the shift. Castro bobbled the ball and Mike Quade went to his pen for Carlos Marmol.

With runners on first and third, Marmol threw a strike to McGehee that ended up in Fukudome’s glove in right. Game over …

It was good to see Zambrano pitch like Big Z once again Friday night.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster against Randy Wolf in game two on Saturday night.

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