Game Thirty-Three: Cubs (18-14) vs. Reds (13-20)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Carlos Zambrano (4-1, 2.11/1.17) vs. Aaron Harang (1-4, 2.98/1.08)
The Cubs are in need of a win tonight, plain and simple. Lou Piniella’s crew has lost 5 of the last 7 games against division rivals and they are close to erasing the positive start to the season. After the first four games against Dusty Baker’s new team, the Cubs are 2-2.
The Cubs will try to avoid their first 3-game losing streak of the season. Aramis Ramirez status is unknown as of this writing. Reports mentioned Ramirez was still hurting on Monday and said he could not go after taking just four swings in the cage.
Lou Piniella is contemplating going with a 13-man pitching staff over the weekend against the Diamondbacks. Jason Marquis’ spot in the rotation will be skipped and Piniella wants Sean Marshall stretched out for when Scott Eyre returns, possibly by Friday. Reports indicated Felix Pie could be the odd man out if the Cubs add a pitcher into the mix. Carlos Zambrano has been the ace the Cubs have been missing for the past several years over his first 7 starts of the season. The sign of a good pitcher is being effective when he does not have his best stuff ….and that describes Zambrano’s last 2 starts. Zambrano surrendered only 1 run to the Brewers on 7 hits in 6 1/3 innings his last time out. But a bad 9th inning by Kerry Wood and Alfonso Soriano cost him his 5th win of the year….and this was after throwing 7 shutout innings against the Nationals in his previous start.
Zambrano’s team needs him tonight to step up and continue pitching the way he has over the first six weeks. The Cubs need a boost and hopefully Zambrano will keep the Reds offense off the board while his offense tries to figure out Aaron Harang.
Big Z will face a Reds’ team he has struggled with in the past but dominated earlier in the year. Zambrano gave up only 2 runs in 8 hits in 7 innings on April 16th to the Reds at Wrigley and earned his second win of the year.
Zambrano is 11-9 in 24 career starts, 28 games, against the Reds with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP….at Great American, Zambrano is 6-2 in 10 starts with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
- Adam Dunn – 12-for-51 with a double, 6 home runs and 14 walks
- Edwin Encarnacion – 10-for-31 with 2 home runs
- Ken Griffey, Jr. – 12-for-33 with 5 doubles and 2 home runs
- Aaron Harang – 0-for-7
- Jeff Keppinger – 5-for-15 with a double
- Corey Patterson – 0-for-4
- Brandon Phillips – 8-for-27 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Joey Votto – 4-for-9 with 2 doubles
Aaron Harang has pitched much better than his record indicates. Harang has allowed 3 earned runs or less in each of his last 3 starts and lost his last 2 games by a combined 8-3 score. Reports indicated after his loss to the Cubs on April 15th at Wrigley that Harang was ill, the Cubs scored 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings….his worst outing of the year.
Harang is 8-4 in 16 career start against the Cubs with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP….at home this year, Harang is 0-1 in 3 starts with a 2.14 ERA and a remarkably low 0.86 WHIP.
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-13 with a home run
- Mark DeRosa – 4-for-12 with a home run
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 13-for-38 with 2 doubles and 5 home runs
- Felix Pie – 2-for-7
- Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-33 with 3 home runs
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-15 with a double
- Geovany Soto – 4-for-6 with 2 doubles
- Ryan Theriot – 5-for-18 with a double
- Carlos Zambrano – 2-for-10 with a double and a home run
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….on the Anniversary of the 20 K’s