Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/06/11

Game One Hundred Fourteen: Cubs (48-65) vs. Reds (54-58)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Zambrano (8-6, 4.46/1.42) vs. Johnny Cueto (7-4, 1.72/0.98)

The Chicago Cubs enter play this afternoon riding a season-high six game win streak. It took 102 games for the Cubs to win three in a row for the first time and Q’s squad is 11-10 since the All-Star break. In order for them to post their seventh straight victory, they will have to beat one of the best young arms in the league, Johnny Cueto.

It has been nearly three years since a Cubs team won seven games in a row. The last time was August 23 – August 29, 2008 when Lou’s crew took two of three from the Nationals, swept a three-gamer against the Pirates at PNC and split a four-game series at Wrigley against the Phillies.

News from the Farm … The Cubs made several minor league moves on Friday. Chris Carpenter was placed on the 7-day DL with a strained oblique. Matt Spencer was promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Larry Suarez was bumped up to the Smokies and Marcus Hatley was placed on the 7-day DL.

In other news … According to Mike Quade during Friday’s post-game press conference, both Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood will likely be unavailable this afternoon. Marmol has pitched in three straight and four of five … and Woody has pitched in back-to-back games.

Pat Hughes will not be calling this afternoon’s game. Pat is taking a scheduled day off and said Friday that everything is okay. This will be the second game this season the Voice of the Cubs has missed due to a scheduled day off. Dave Eanet will fill in for Pat along side Keith Moreland for today’s game.

Today it all starts with Carlos Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano is coming off a win against the Pirates after allowing one run (homer by Derrek Lee) on seven hits in six innings. Z walked three and struck out five in a game he admittedly did not have his best stuff.

Z has put together a solid season and admitted earlier in the week that he is shooting to throw 200 innings this year (135 1/3 in 22 starts). If Z reaches that goal, it would be the first time since 2007 he’s surpassed the 200-inning mark.

Zambrano is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. Zambrano must cut down on the free passes (10) and hits allowed (29) just too many baserunners (39 in 23 1/3 innings).

This afternoon will be Zambrano’s second start of the season versus the Reds. Joey Votto and company beat up on the Z when they faced him in Cincinnati back on May 16 (six runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings). Z is 16-11 in 36 games, 31 starts, in his career versus the Redlegs with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

Carlos Zambrano must bring his A-game this afternoon with Johnny Cueto on the mound. Zambrano has struggled at Wrigley this season (2-3 in 10 starts with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP) and if he has trouble again today, the Cubs win streak will come to an end.

Reds Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Jay Bruce – 4-for-16 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Miguel Cairo – 2-for-9 with a double and 2 walks
  • Johnny Cueto – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Hanigan – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Ramon Hernandez – 2-for-12
  • Fred Lewis – 1-for-3
  • Brandon Phillips – 10-for-46 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
  • Edgar Renteria – 13-for-36 with a home run and 8 walks
  • Drew Stubbs – 3-for-7 with a walk
  • Joey Votto – 9-for-24 with 4 doubles and 3 walks

The Cubs offense will face the best the Reds have to offer this afternoon in Johnny Cueto. After spending the first month of the season on the DL, the Reds ace has been excellent this year.

Cueto made his first start of the year against the Cubs at Wrigley on May 8. Cueto shut down the Cubs over six innings and allowed only five hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Johnny Cueto has not allowed more than one earned run in his last three starts and not more than three earned runs in any of his 16 starts this season. Cueto is 2-2 in his last six starts with a 1.52 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.

Today will be the 12th start of Cueto’s career against the Cubs … 4-5 in 11 starts with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Cueto is 2-3 in seven career starts at Wrigley with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-8 with 2 walks
  • Tyler Colvin – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-10
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-8 with a double
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-21 with a double, 2 home runs and 5 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-26 with 3 home runs and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 6-for-24 with 3 doubles, a triple, a home run and 2 walks

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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