Game One Hundred Forty-One: Cubs (71-69) vs. Pirates (62-79)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Carlos Zambrano (14-12, 4.35/1.37) vs. Ian Snell (9-11, 4.01/1.33)
Before tonight’s game preview, just a couple of quick notes from the news wire…. Scott Taylor, pitcher for the Class-A Daytona Cubs was suspended on Saturday for “a positive test for drug of abuse under the minor league program.” The 20-year old Taylor was 4-11 with a 5.74 ERA in 26 games, 13 starts, for the D-Cubs. Taylor was the 5th round pick of the Cubs in the 2005 draft.
MLB announced the results of the coin flip on Friday in case of a tie in the division. If the Cubs and Brewers are tied, the Cubs would host game number 163. If the Cubs and Cardinals are tied, the Cubs would travel to St. Louis for number 163. Good thing Trachsel is back, right? If all three teams are tied at the end of the regular season according to Cubs.com, “It will come down to the clubs’ head-to-head records. The teams with the two worst records will play each other, with the winner taking on the team with the best head-to-head record to become division champion.”
Counting tonight’s game the Cubs have only 22 games left in the regular season. Is this the game they break out of their recent “funk” and start playing baseball the right way, the winning way? There is so much negativity and pressure surrounding this club right now, they have been given so many gifts this year and it always appears they come out on the short end of the stick. But to play they way they have and still to be tied at the top of the division…. thanks to a mosquito? The Cubs have to start getting a couple breaks soon, have the ball bounce their proverbial way….they are overdue. Every player in the clubhouse must relax and just play the game, especially Carlos Zambrano. There will not be any negatives mentioned in this preview about Carlos Zambrano. Unless you have been on a deserted island with Gilligan since the end of July, you know all the drama that has followed the Cubs number one pitcher.
Zambrano has all of the talent to put a win on the board for his team tonight….PERIOD.
Big Z is 7-6 in 18 career games, 16 starts, against the Pirates with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. This season, 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
The Cubs will get their third look of the season at Ian Snell. The very talented right hander has been inconsistent at best this season but is coming off one of the best outings of his career. Snell was 1-2 in 6 starts in August with a 6.03 ERA and in 11 starts between July 4th and August 29th he had only 1 start in which he did not give up at least 3 earned runs…. 46 runs on 86 hits in 66 1/3 innings with 63 strikeouts and 19 walks, a 6.24 ERA.
Snell pitched a gem against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Labor Day. He held the dangerous Cardinals lineup scoreless for 7 innings and gave up just 5 hits. Snell did walk 5 and 4 strikeouts. The Cubs must be patient tonight against Snell and make him work. Too many first pitch outs early on will lead to another disappointing loss.
Snell is 7-5 in 14 starts this year at PNC with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. For his career against the Cubs, Snell is 1-3 in 7 games, 5 starts, with a 5.65 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP….this season, 0-1 in 2 starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-5, with a home run and 3 RBI’s
- Jacque Jones – 0-9
- Derrek Lee – 5-15, with 3 doubles and 5 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 6-17, with 4 doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-8, with 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s
- Ryan Theriot – 3-8, with a double and 3 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….