Game Fifty-Two: Cubs (22-29) vs. Braves (30-23)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (5-4, 5.24/1.49) vs. Kyle Davies (2-3, 5.51/1.56)
Updated – 1:55pm C.T. – Henry Blanco Placed on 15-Day DL – Koyie Hill Selected from Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs enter play today 7 games under .500 and have hit a turning point in the season, either they start playing to the level of their talent or continue to falter in a winnable division and see another season go by the waste side. Today is a must win for the Cubs, especially with Carlos Zambrano on the hill. The Cubs play 7 of their next 10 games against the Braves with a 3-game road trip to Milwaukee in between….it is time for Lou Piniella’s crew to win a game and build some confidence. Carlos Zambrano is coming off his best start of the season. He held the Dodgers to 2 runs on 8 hits in 7 2/3 innings and struck out a season-high 8 while walking just 1….the last batter he faced (Russell Martin). The Braves knocked around Zambrano back on April 18th in Atlanta….5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings with 5 walks and 6 strikeouts, Jeff Francoeur and Scott Thorman hit home runs and the Braves scored 3 in the 7th off of Scott Eyre to win the game.
Zambrano has struggled at Wrigley this season (1-3 with a 7.39 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP) but look for Henry Blanco to get the start behind the plate. Zambrano is 3-1 with a 3.27 ERA with Blanco and is 2-3 with a 7.07 ERA in 6 starts with Michael Barrett.
Kyle Davies will take the mound for the Braves and today’s game will feature a rematch from the April 18th contest in Atlanta. The Cubs scored 4 runs on 6 hits in 5 1/3 innings off of Davies and Mark DeRosa went deep in the 4th inning against Davies.
After a stellar performance against the Mets on May 22nd (1 run on 6 hits in 8 innings), Davies could not make it out of the 5th against the Phillies last Sunday (8 runs on 8 hits in 4 1/3 innings). Davies gave up 4 runs in the 1st inning and allowed home runs to Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs.
Lou Piniella promised a more consistent lineup after Wednesday’s embarrassing loss, let’s see if he will deliver a winning lineup today….
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….
Update – According to a report on Cubs.com, the Cubs placed Henry Blanco on the 15-day DL before Friday’s game with a cervical herniated disc. The Cubs selected Koyie Hill from Triple-A Iowa and he will wear number 36. The Cubs have not announced the other roster move needed to bring Hill up from Iowa. Will update when information becomes available.