Game Seventy-Seven: Cubs (37-39) vs. Rockies (38-39)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (8-6, 4.27/1.33) vs. Jason Hirsh (3-6, 5.06/1.38)
The Faithful knows what is at stake today…. The Cubs need to keep their offensive machine rolling while Carlos Zambrano just needs to be, well….Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs are playing good ball right now but face a challenge today in Jason Hirsh and a Rockies team that will be desperate for a win. A win today would be a great way to head into an off day on Thursday. Carlos Zambrano has appeared to turn the corner once “his season started” a little less than a month ago. Zambrano was lights out for his 4th straight start his last time out against the White Sox. Zambrano tied a career high with 12 strikeouts and the only run he allowed was a solo shot by Paul Konerko. In Zambrano’s last 3 starts he has pitched at least 8 innings and has given up a total of 3 runs on 8 hits in 25 innings (1.08 ERA and 3-1 in his last 4 starts with a 1.14 ERA) and two of those runs were solo home runs. Zambrano has been throwing strikes and not giving up too many free passes as of late.
Zambrano has struggled at Wrigley this season and is 2-5 in 8 starts with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
Today will be Zambrano’s 8th career start against the Rockies and he is 1-4 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP….19 runs, 17 earned, on 35 his in 48 2/3 innings.
- Garrett Atkins – 2-5, with a RBI and 2 walks
- Todd Helton – 3-18, with 3 walks
- Matt Holliday – 2-10, with a triple and 2 walks
Jason Hirsh was acquired from the Houston Astros last off-season (December 12, 2006) along with Willy Taveras and Taylor Buchholz for Jason Jennings and Miguel Asencio and to say that trade has worked out extremely well for the Rockies would be an understatement. Taveras has had a solid year and so has Buchholz while Jason Jennings has struggled to stay on the mound (1-2 with a 3.66 in 8 games with a 1.31 WHIP).
Hirsh has had a good rookie campaign thus far (3-4 with a 6.04 ERA in 9 starts for the Astros in 2006). After a .500 April (2-2, 3.41 ERA), he struggled in May and went 0-3 with a 6.68 ERA but since his worst outing of the season against the Cardinals on May 30th (8 runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings with a 3-run home run by Albert Pujols and a solo shot by Jim Edmonds) he settled down and even recorded his first career complete game in Baltimore on June 10th. Hirsh is 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA in his last 4 starts (13 runs on 21 hits in 23 2/3 innings) but he has given up 5 home runs in his last 2 starts and 14 in 15 starts on the season.
Hirsh will make his first career appearance against the Cubs today. He is 2-2, 4.39 ERA on the road this season. Lefties are hitting .255 with a .351 OBP and righties are hitting .251 with a .308 OBP.
Rob Bowen and Cliff Floyd are the only two Cubs that have faced Hirsh and they are a combined 0-5 with a RBI.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….