Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 07/27/11

Game One Hundred Four: Cubs (42-61) vs. Brewers (55-49)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Carlos Zambrano (7-5, 4.70/1.42) vs. Zack Greinke (7-4, 4.84/1.20)

The Cubs will try to get back in the win column tonight behind Carlos Zambrano … and the Cubs offense will not get a break with Zack Greinke on the hill. Greinke has not lost a game at Miller Park this season and has issued only four walks in 44 innings at home this year.

Mike Quade and his team view this road trip and the next 12 games as a way to get back into the race in the NL Central. The Cubs enter play tonight 19 games below .500 and just 17-30 on the road this season. After the next two games in Milwaukee, the Cubs travel to St. Louis for three then to Pittsburgh for four … Q’s squad opens a three-game series against the Reds on August 5.

In other newsKerry Wood was unable to make the trip to Milwaukee for the start of the three-game series against the Brewers. Wood stayed in Chicago and dealt with flu-like symptoms. Wood was expected to be examined today but it is unclear when he will rejoin the team … much less pitch in a game.

Reed Johnson was unavailable Tuesday night for the second game in a row. Johnson’s back has stiffened up again and he is listed as day-to-day.

Jim Hendry and his staff did not make the trip to Milwaukee and stayed behind to monitor moves heading into the trade deadline according to a report from Carrie Muskat.

From the Rumor MillAccording to Bruce Levine, the Cubs want to keep Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson as a part of their bench for 2012 and neither one will likely be moved before the deadline. Reports have stated the Cubs view Baker as being untouchable and apparently the Cubs view the free-agent-to-be Reed Johnson the same way.

According to Bruce Levine, a number of teams have looked at John Grabow “but his inconsistencies have caused teams to hesitate.”

Tonight it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off a decent outing and a win against Houston. The Astros nickeled and dimed Zambrano and scored two runs on nine hits (all singles). Z issued only one free pass and struck out three. Z picked up his first victory since June 20.

Z has put together a good but inconsistent season. After a posting a 1-2 record in six starts in June with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP, Z is 1-1 in his last two games with an 8.44 ERA and a 1.97 WHIP … teams are hitting a robust .364.

Zambrano will make his third start of the season against Milwaukee. Z is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP … Z is 13-9 in 33 career games, 30 starts, with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 2-for-6
  • Ryan Braun – 11-for-40 with 3 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
  • Craig Counsell – 8-for-33 with 2 doubles and 7 walks
  • Prince Fielder – 15-for-44 with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 7 walks
  • Corey Hart – 10-for-33 with 2 doubles, a triple and 5 walks
  • Mark Kotsay – 1-for-9 with a walk
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 3-for-7
  • Casey McGehee – 5-for-19 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
  • Nyjer Morgan – 9-for-25 with a walk
  • Rickie Weeks – 11-for-49 with 4 doubles, a home run and a walk

Zack Greinke has been inconsistent this season and has not pitched the way Milwaukee hoped he would when they traded for him over the winter. Greinke is coming off a good outing, but a loss to Arizona. Kirk Gibson’s team scored two runs on five hits in seven innings without a walk and Greinke struck out seven. But the Brewers did not scored a run off Ian Kennedy.

Greinke has been very good of late and is 0-1 in his last four starts with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Zack Greinke is a perfect 5-0 at Miller Park this season. In seven starts, the former AL Cy Young Award winner has allowed 22 runs, 20 earned, on 41 hits with just four walks and 62 strikeouts in 44 innings (4.09 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP).

Matt Garza beat Greinke back on June 16 at Wrigley … the Cubs scored eight runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings against Greinke while striking out 10 times (two walks). Look for Greinke to make a point tonight after the Cubs handed him his worst loss of the season.

Tonight will be Greinke’s second career start against the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs Career Numbers against Zack Greinke

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-16 with a home run and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-1 with a double and 2 walks
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-3
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-3 with a triple
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 4-for-30 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-3

Boys of Spring – The Movie
Friend of the CCO, Tim Sheridan, is putting the finishing touches on a Cubs documentary about his time with the Chicago Cubs. Tim is the long-time P.A. announcer at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and the film is full of behind the scenes, never-before-see footage shot by Tim as he worked next to Cubs legends like Harry Caray and Ron Santo.

From the official press release: To be a part of Boys of Spring – The Movie, fans can donate as little as $10 using an Amazon.com account. As a thank you, fans will receive a copy of the Boys of Spring documentary before its official release next spring. There are a range of donation levels and rewards available on Kickstarter.com, including Cubs memorabilia and your name in the movie’s credits.

Boys of Spring isn’t about a team winning or losing. It’s about something deeper. An examination of life on its winding path and how, in spite of perceived failures, there is happiness and success. Cub fans will find joy this season and for years to come with the Boys of Spring film by donating and claiming their place in Cubs history. An epic World Series drought can’t stop the faithful Cubs followers, who know better than anyone – “There’s always next spring!”

The CCO will be running reminders during game previews for the next few weeks and I encourage the Faithful to check out ‘Boys of Spring – The Movie

Boot Campaign
Randy Wells and the Chicago Cubs are raising awareness of needs of military personnel. Wells will trade in his cleats for combat boots this week as part of the Boot Campaign, an initiative aimed at showing appreciation of the active military and raising awareness of the needs of military personnel.

Official Release from MLB.com

The CCO has been asked to pass this info onto our readers and we will run reminders throughout the week. For those that are interested in helping this great cause, please visit www.BootCampaign.com and purchase the “Give Back” combat boots.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein