Game One Hundred Fifty-Six: Cubs (82-73) vs. Pirates (66-89)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (16-13, 4.20/1.35) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (14-8, 3.55/1.34)
Only 7 games left…. And for the Cubs, another day and the third lefty. The Cubs play the last regular season game at Wrigley today and will look to take the final game of the year against the Pirates, the Cubs have a 7-7 record against the Bucs this year. Today could be said is one of the biggest games in Carlos Zambrano’s career. While the offense must figure out a way to put runs on the board against Tom Gorzelanny, it all starts with Carlos Zambrano. Carlos Zambrano’s struggles have been well discussed. Lou Piniella’s number one pitcher has not won a home game since July 18th and is 2-6 in his last 9 starts. Carlos Zambrano has stated of late there is a lot of pressure pitching at Wrigley Field….well, today would be a good time for Zambrano to show the Faithful and all of baseball, how good of a pitcher he actually is. The Cubs need Zambrano to make it into the post season and Zambrano just needs to let go and pitch the way he is capable.
Forget the records, forget the stats, forget the past. Today is a new start for Big Z….
While the Cubs offense has played very well over the past two games, today’s young Pirate lefty is not like the other two. Tom Gorzelanny, the Orland Park native, has gotten better as the year has gone on and has lost only twice since August 1st. Gorzelanny is 1-1 in his last 4 starts with a win against the Cubs in Pittsburgh on September 7th. The Cubs managed just 1 run on 6 hits in 7 innings but they had plenty of opportunities….they have to take advantage of those today.
Gorzelanny is coming off a loss to the Padres in San Diego his last time out. He gave up 4 runs on 9 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts….the 4 runs were the most he has allowed in 5 starts. Gorzelanny struggled with his command, the 4 walks was a season high. This is Gorzelanny’s first full season in the big leagues, he has thrown 190 innings and a ton of pitches. The very talented southpaw could be running out of gas down the stretch. The Cubs must be patient, once again, and make Gorzelanny work. The Cubs must put themselves in hitter’s counts and take advantage of every possible opportunity to put runs on the board.
Gorzelanny is 2-1 in 3 career starts against the Cubs with a 0.82 ERA (yes, you read that right) and a 0.91 WHIP….this season 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….