Game Ninety-Five: Cubs (38-56) vs. Marlins (44-49)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 4.34/1.37) vs. Javier Vazquez (5-8, 5.23/1.51)
Carlos Zambrano will return from the DL and try to pickup where both Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster have left off. Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball on Thursday and Dempster followed with eight innings of no-run ball on Friday … for those scoring at home, that is 15 innings of shutout ball for Cubs starters in the first two games of the series. Q’s starters were not the problem in the first two games back from the break.
Carlos Marmol will not be available out of the pen today and may not be for the remainder of the series. Marmol threw a lot of pitches in the first two games and would not be available this afternoon because of a high pitch count. The Cubs feel he needs a break … both physically and mentally. The Cubs would like Marmol to work on his mechanical issues for a few days then once he is ready to return, determine his role at that point. Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood are expected to share the closer duties while Marmol tries to figure things out.
Carlos Zambrano will be activated prior to this afternoon’s game, which will require another roster move. Quade said Thursday that Rodrigo Lopez would serve as the Cubs’ fifth starter moving forward and Ramon Ortiz would be moved to the pen. If that is the route the Cubs go, Chris Carpenter is likely headed back to Iowa.
Zambrano pitched last Friday on a rehab outing with the Peoria Chiefs. Z allowed an unearned run in four innings of work. Z has been on the DL since July 1 and reportedly will not be on a pitch count limit this afternoon.
The Cubs are 3-1 versus the Marlins this season … and today it all begins with Carlos Zambrano. The last time Carlos Zambrano started a game he left in the second inning against the Giants. Zambrano’s back tightened up and he was placed on the DL the next day … and the Cubs activated Kerry Wood. The Cubs ended up winning the game 5-3 in 13 innings thanks to a tremendous five-inning outing by Marcos Mateo.
The last time Zambrano pitched a full game was back on June 25 in Kansas City. Big Z received a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the Royals. Z allowed two runs on seven hits in eight innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
Zambrano posted a 1-2 record in six starts in June with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.
Z did not face the Fish back in May and is 5-1 in 13 career games, 11 starts, versus Florida with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Marlins Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano
- Emilio Bonifacio – 0-for-3
- Mike Cameron – 2-for-19 with a walk
- Greg Dobbs – 3-for-6 with a double
- Hanley Ramirez – 3-for-14 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
- Gaby Sanchez – 0-for-2
- Javier Vazquez – 1-for-3 with a walk
- Dewayne Wise – 3-for-10 with a double
The Cubs will face a very familiar foe in Javier Vazquez. The former Expo, D-Back, Southsider and Brave has had a lot of success over his career against the Cubs organization.
Vazquez struggled at the beginning of the season but has steadily gotten better as the season has progressed. Vazquez is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Vazquez is coming off a very good seven-inning outing against Houston in which he allowed two unearned runs on six hits without a walk and four strikeouts.
This afternoon will be Vazquez’s 19th career start against the Cubs … 5-4 in 18 starts with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP … at Wrigley, 3-3 in 12 starts with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Javier Vazquez
- Marlon Byrd – 3-for-12 with a double
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-9 with 4 walks
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-3
- Reed Johnson – 3-for-19
- Carlos Pena – 2-for-23 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-32 with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs and 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-12 with a home run
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-8 with a walk
- Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-5 with a double
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