Game Sixty-Five: Cubs (26-38) vs. Astros (34-32)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (5-3, 2.93) vs. Fernando Nieve (2-3, 4.85)
The Cubs turn to Carlos Zambrano today to salvage the final game of the series and avoid the sweep at the hands of the Astros. Zambrano has been unbelievable of late and has allowed just 1 run in his last 2 starts. Zambrano had a tremendous May and was 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA, in his first 2 starts in June he is 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA. The last time Zambrano pitched against the Astros he had a no-hitter into the 8th that was broken up by Preston Wilson with 1 out….Zambrano allowed only 3 base runners that night and with the lack of runs the Cubs are scoring they need him to shut the Astros down again. The Cubs are struggling, that is no secret, but Matt Murton has really fallen on hard times, Murton is hitting .188 (6-32) in his last 10 games. The Cubs have yet to see Juan Pierre be anywhere near the player they traded for, Pierre had an off season in 2005 with the Marlins (.276/.326/.354/2/47) but at this point the Cubs would love to see that kind of production (.241/.283/.304/0/7). Jacque Jones has begun to swing for the fences again, he has apparently forgotten how to go to the opposite field….what led to him hitting near .300 for the last couple of weeks. Jones has played beyond expectations but with Lee out and Ramirez a no show, Jones does not need to be a home run hitter….he should just continue playing the way he was prior to June 10th….Jones is 1 for his last 16 with 1 RBI, 1 run scored and 8 strikeouts.
Fernando Nieve has pitched well for the Astros this season and has allowed only 10 runs in his last 4 starts. He is coming off a win against the Braves when he threw 7 1/3 innings and allowed only 2 runs on 5 hits, 1 walk and he struck out 9. This will be the rookie right hander’s first start against the Cubs.
To say today’s game is a must win would be an understatement….
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….