Game Thirty-Seven: Cubs (17-19) vs. Mets (24-13)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184/174
Location – Shea Stadium, Flushing
Carlos Zambrano (3-3, 5.83/1.60) vs. John Maine (5-0, 1.79/1.17)
Lou Piniella reportedly worked with Carlos Zambrano this past weekend on flaws in his mechanics. Piniella stated that Zambrano has been “opening up his hips on his delivery” and that “causes opposing hitters to get an early look at what the right-hander is throwing.” Zambrano has struggled this season but tonight his team needs him to step up and pitch the way he is capable against one of the best young pitchers in the league. The Cubs have found several different ways to lose games this year, now they must find a way to a few. Derrek Lee’s status for tonight’s game is uncertain and Mark DeRosa is likely heading to the DL (the Cubs have not made an official announcement yet). With Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez nursing leg injuries it will take a team effort to beat the Mets tonight….and it starts with Carlos Zambrano.
A staff ace is supposed to be a stopper, the guy their team turns to when they need a win, Zambrano has declared himself the staff ace and he has a chance to prove himself again tonight against the best team in the National League. But the first thing he must do is get out of the first inning without imploding on the mound or allowing any runs. Zambrano has allowed 7 runs in the 1st inning of his past 2 games.
Zambrano is 2-1 in 3 career starts (4 games) against the Mets with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Zambrano has pitched better on the road this season than he has at Wrigley. Zambrano is 2-1 in 4 games with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP but in 2 career starts at Shea he is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP while the Mets are hitting .300 against him in their house.
- Endy Chavez – 5-14 with a triple, a home run and 5 RBI’s
- Paul Lo Duca – 5-17 with a triple
- Carlos Beltran – 1-7 with a home run, 2 RBI’s and 5 walks
John Maine has been remarkable this season for the Mets. He has pitched completed at least 7 innings in 4 of his 7 starts and has allowed more than 2 earned runs only once. Maine throws strikes and is averaging just under a strikeout per inning (41 strikeouts in 45 innings).
Maine was on the mound last July in New York when Mark Prior threw 5 2/3 innings of no-hit shut out ball….the Cubs dropped the game in extra innings. Maine allowed 3 hits in 7 innings while striking out 7 and walking 3. In 2 career games against the Cubs, he has not allowed a run in 8 innings of work.
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-13 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-4
- Ryan Theriot – 1-1, a double
- Daryle Ward – 1-1, a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….