Game Fifty-Seven: Cubs (23-33) vs. Cardinals (35-25)
Game Time – 1:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, TBS Sunday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 4.23/1.27) vs. Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.52/1.45)
The Cubs have lost five in a row, seven of eight and are in need a big outing from Carlos Zambrano to avoid being swept out of St. Louis.
The Cubs have gone from a team that couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position to a team that just can’t hit. The Cubs have scored four runs or less in the last four games and have not scored in more than one inning in each of those games.
Carlos Zambrano must make sure he hydrates well prior to the game. With the extreme heat in St. Louis, the Cubs cannot afford to get a short outing from Zambrano.
After throwing two scoreless innings and 32 pitches on Saturday, Kerry Wood will likely be unavailable. Carlos Marmol tossed 1 2/3 innings but kept his pitch count relatively low (27 pitches, 16 for strikes) and could be available if there is a save situation.
Mike Quade is hoping to have Aramis Ramirez back in the starting lineup this afternoon. Ramirez was on deck to pinch hit in the 12th inning Saturday when Starlin Castro struck out to end the inning. Ramirez has missed the last two games dealing with a cut lip that received seven stitches and reportedly quite a bit of swelling on the left side of his face.
Geovany Soto could also receive a day off after catching 12 innings in the extreme heat Saturday afternoon (100-plus heat index).
The Cubs are 1-7 on Sunday this season and this afternoon it all starts with Carlos Zambrano … Carlos Zambrano is coming off an excellent outing against the Astros. Z held the Astros to one run on seven hits in eight innings without a walk and seven strikeouts. Z was in line for the win after the Cubs scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth but Carlos Marmol imploded and the Cubs lost.
Big Z has been solid this season … not great, not the old Z but solid. The Cubs need another good outing this afternoon from Carlos Zambrano.
Z was 2-1 in six starts last month with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Zambrano faced the Redbirds back on May 10 at Wrigley and received a no decision. Z allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings (the Cubs defense did not help Z at all that night). Zambrano left with the game tied at four and the Redbirds scored two off Kerry Wood the next inning and won by a final of 6-4.
This afternoon will be Zambrano’s 28th career start versus the Cardinals … 12-6 in 30 games, 27 starts, with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Z owns a perfect 6-0 career mark at the new Busch Stadium. In seven starts Z has allowed 10 runs, nine earned, on 36 hits in 45 innings (1.80 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP).
Cardinals Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano
- Lance Berkman – 11-for-71 with 4 home runs and 17 walks
- Chris Carpenter – 0-for-17
- Jon Jay – 2-for-3
- Yadier Molina – 8-for-38 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
- Albert Pujols – 20-for-69 with 6 doubles, 5 home runs and 10 walks
- Colby Rasmus – 4-for-16 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Skip Schumaker – 11-for-33 with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 4 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3
Chris Carpenter has posted only one win this season … and it was against the Big Z and the Cubs back on May 10. Carpenter labored through a seven-inning outing and allowed four runs on 13 hits that night but he stayed around long enough to get a win.
Carpenter has not pitched as well as most expected but he’s at least kept his team in the games … the Redbirds are 3-9 in Carpenter’s 12 starts.
The Giants knocked Carpenter out of the game after five innings in his last start. Carpenter allowed two runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and eight strikeouts.
The Cardinals’ ace was 1-3 in six starts last month with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.
Chris Carpenter is 11-6 in 23 career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Carpenter
- Darwin Barney – 3-for-7
- Starlin Castro – 5-for-14 with a double and 2 walks
- Tyler Colvin – 3-for-11 with 2 home run
- Blake DeWitt – 3-for-13 with 3 doubles
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-20 with 5 walks
- Carlos Pena – 2-for-3
- Aramis Ramirez – 23-for-64 with 5 doubles, 2 home run and 2 walks
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-12 with a walk
- Carlos Zambrano – 8-for-16 with a double
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