Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 06/30/11

Game Eighty-Two: Cubs (33-48) vs. Giants (46-35)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 4.38/1.34) vs. Matt Cain (7-4, 3.22/1.11)

The Cubs and Giants conclude their four-game series this afternoon … and Q’s squad has a chance at splitting the extended series with the defending World Series Champs. The Giants have won three of the first five games in the season series against Q’s squad.

After posting a 12-14 record in April and an 11-16 mark in May, the Cubs are 10-18 with one game left to play in June. Winning back-to-back games against the Giants would be a great way to go into the weekend series against the White Sox.

Aramis Ramirez is expected back in the starting lineup this afternoon. Today might be a good time to give Starlin Castro a breather, slide Darwin Barney over to short and start Blake DeWitt at second. DeWitt has good career numbers (6-for-18 with a home run and three walks) against Matt Cain.

In other newsKerry Wood threw a simulated game Wednesday and if everything is okay today with the blister on his right index finger, Wood could be activated in time for the weekend series against the White Sox. The Cubs will likely wait until Monday to activate Marlon Byrd.

Andrew Cashner was in the dugout Wednesday night and is in Chicago to be examined by Dr. Stephen Gryzlo. Cashner has been rehabbing in Mesa and if he gets the go ahead, Cashner could start throwing on Friday. The Cubs have not set a timetable for his return. Reports a few weeks back indicated if Cashner is able to pitch this year it would likely be as a reliever, not as a starter.

Today it all begins with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off a solid outing against the Royals but received a no decision after the offense could not do anything against Danny Duffy and the KC Pen. Z allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings with three walks and two strikeouts. After two bad outings against the Phillies and Brewers, Z has been very good in his last two starts.

Zambrano is 1-2 in his last five starts with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP and must limit his free passes today. Big Z has walked almost as many hitters (16) over his last five starts as the ones he’s struck out (21).

Z did not face the Giants back in May and is 5-1 in 11 career games, 10 starts, with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Giants Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Pat Burrell – 4-for-16 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Matt Cain – 1-for-6 with a home run and a walk
  • Bill Hall – 9-for-44 with 2 doubles, 2 triples and 6 walks
  • Aubrey Huff – 1-for-6 with 6 walks
  • Cody Ross – 2-for-12 with a double and a walk
  • Aaron Rowand – 0-for-10
  • Pablo Sandoval – 2-for-9 with a walk
  • Miguel Tejada – 8-for-27 with a double and a home run
  • Andres Torres – 0-for-2 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look of the season at Matt Cain this afternoon. Cain has been outstanding of late and is coming off a gem against the Indians. Cain threw seven innings of shutout ball against Cleveland and allowed just four hits while striking out six (one walk).

Matt Cain is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 1.96 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP … Cain has not lost a game since May 29 and the Giants are 11-5 in his 16 starts.

Today will be Matt Cain’s 11th career start against the Cubs … 5-2 in 10 starts with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. Cain owns a 1-1 record in four career starts with a 2.19 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Matt Cain

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-11
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-4 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 6-for-18 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-14 with a double
  • Koyie Hill – 3-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-5
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-15 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-8 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-6
  • Carlos Zambrano – 0-for-6

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon