Game Seventy-Eight: Cubs (38-39) vs. Brewers (46-32)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (5-5, 3.13/1.06) vs. Yovani Gallardo (1-0, 2.70/1.05)
The Faithful knows what is at stake…. Two of the hottest teams in baseball open a 3-game series today at the Friendly Confines. The Cubs are 16-10 this month while the Brewers also have 16 wins, but two less losses. Lou Piniella just witnessed his crew play, without question, their best ball of the season over the last week. Now the challenge is to pick up where they left off on Wednesday. If the Cubs want to challenge the Brewers for the division, they must play well this weekend and surpass the .500 mark. With the first half coming to an end in 10 short days, a solid conclusion to the first half would help makeup for a lackluster start to the season. The Cubs have won 5 of 9 from the Brewers this season but lost 2 of 3 to Milwaukee at Wrigley in late April. Today will be the start of the 4th season series between the top two teams in the central….the Cubs have won 2 of the first 3. While the Brewers are just about unbeatable at Miller Park (30-13), they are very vulnerable on the road (16-19) but are 21-10 against the rest of the central while the Cubs are 14-15.
Rich Hill is coming off a solid start against the White Sox; he received a no-decision after leaving the game with 2 outs in the 6th inning. Hill gave up 1 run on 6 hits and struck out 6 but the only 2 walks he gave up were the last two batters he faced, and with the game tied Lou Piniella did not have a chance but to go to his bullpen….the Cubs won on the suicide squeeze in the 9th inning.
Rich Hill is 1-1 against the Brewers this season. In 13 2/3 innings he has allowed 5 runs on 7 hits with 11 strikeouts and 3 walks (3.29 ERA), his win came at Miller Park. After a horrendous May, Hill has bounced back with a very good June. He is 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 5 starts….13 runs, 11 earned on 26 hits in 30 1/3 innings (without the 5 runs in 3 innings he gave up to the Padres, Hill’s ERA for June is 1.98).
- Prince Fielder – 1-6, with a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Corey Hart – 2-8, with a home run and a RBI
- Bill Hall – 2-8, with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts
The Cubs will get their first look at Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo is the Brewers top pitching prospect and has been very impressive in his first two starts at the big league level. After posting an 8-3 record with a 2.90 ERA with Triple-A Nashville (110 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings) he has given up 4 runs on 9 hits in 13 1/3 innings (Giants and Royals) while striking out 12 and walking 5.
The one plus for today is several of the Cubs on the current roster has faced Gallardo when he pitched for the Sounds and the Huntsville Stars. This year Gallardo was 1-0 against the I-Cubs; he allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 13 innings with 16 strikeouts and 4 walks.
After this weekend the Cubs only have three games left against the Brewers this year, August 28-August 30 at Wrigley.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….