Game One Hundred Three: Cubs (54-48) vs. Reds (45-60)
Game Time – 12:15pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Carlos Zambrano (13-7, 3.65/1.26) vs. Matt Belisle (5-7, 5.28/1.45)
The Cubs will look to end their 6-game road trip on a positive note today in the rubber game of the series. Lou Piniella’s crew must take care of business today behind their ace and make their road trip a winning one, just not a break even one. Aramis Ramirez is expected in the lineup today and Cliff Floyd is expected to take the day off with the return of Koyie Hill behind the plate. While the offense supplied the power last night, it all starts with Carlos Zambrano. Carlos Zambrano needs to step up for his team today in the finale of the series and make the plane ride back to Chicago a little easier. Zambrano is 4-1 in his last 5 starts with a 1.71 ERA and has been very good since “his season started” at the beginning of June. He is has not lost a game since the All-Star break and has allowed just 2 runs in his last 3 starts. Zambrano beat the Cardinals his last time out, he gave up 2 runs on 5 hits on 6 1/3 innings/
Zambrano has struggled against the Reds this season. He is 0-2 with an 11.00 ERA (11 runs on 12 hits in 9 innings with 9 walks and 4 strikeouts). Zambrano has lost only twice this season on the road (8-2 with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP) and one of those losses came at the hands of the Reds on Opening Day.
Zambrano is 8-7 in 23 career games, 19 starts, with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP….4-2 in 8 career starts at Great American Ball Park with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.
- Jeff Conine – 5-9 with a double
- Adam Dunn – 11-42, with 6 home runs and 10 RBI’s
- Ken Griffey, Jr. – 9-21, with 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 6 RBI’s
After a very good start to the season (3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 5 starts in April), Matt Belisle has not posted a win since May 29th in Houston. He is 0-2 in his last 4 starts with a 6.52 ERA (15 runs, 14 earned on 30 hits in 19 1/3 innings) and is coming off his shortest outing of the season….a loss to the Brewers. He gave up 4 runs on 6 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Belisle is 1-6 in 10 starts at Great American this season with a 6.22 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.
Belisle is 0-2 in 12 career games against the Cubs with a 5.94 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP….today will be his 2nd career start.
Trade deadline update – According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, the Cubs are apparently interested in Jay Payton but most think the Cubs will not make any deals before Tuesday.
Kerry Wood – Wood was in Cincinnati on Saturday and will throw a bullpen session today with Larry Rothschild. According to Bruce Miles if everything goes alright today, Wood will go to Iowa for another rehab stint and could be back with the Cubs as early as this week.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….