Game One Hundred Twenty-Seven: Cubs (77-49) vs. Reds (55-72)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (12-5, 3.38/1.25) vs. Josh Fogg (2-5, 7.71/1.64)
Today is an important game for the Chicago Cubs. Not only would a win give them their seventh consecutive series win but could get their ace back on track. Carlos Zambrano has struggled of late and needs a good outing today in front of the home crowd.
Aaron Harang was scheduled to make the start for Dusty Baker today but was scratched earlier in the week because of neck spasms and Josh Fogg will take the hill instead. Today is the last game of the year against the Reds at Wrigley and they are 5-3 versus the Reds at home and 6-5 on the season against Dusty Baker’s bunch with three left in September at the Great American Ballpark.
The Reds have played their best ball of the year against the Cubs on ‘getaway day‘. While two very big bats are no longer on the roster, they beat the Cubs on April 17th, 9-2 on May 7th, 9-0 and on July 12th, 12-7. Carlos Zambrano better bring his ‘A’ game in a rematch with Josh Fogg from April 16th.
With the Brewers and Cardinals enjoying a day off, the Cubs play two games before the Brewers take the field on Friday night at Miller Park against the Pirates and the Redbirds open a weekend series against the Braves in St. Louis on Friday night…. It is August and Carlos Zambrano is struggling. The Cubs’ ace is coming off back-to-back rough outings. After the Cardinals hit the ball all over Wrigley against Big Z back on August 9th (9 runs on 10 hits with 3 strikeouts, a walk and 4 home runs allowed in 4 1/3 innings), he had problems not only with his control in Florida, but with the homeplate umpire. Zambrano issued 5 free passes, struck out 6 and gave up 5 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings.
Lou Piniella needs Zambrano to get on track in August. He is 0-1 in 3 starts this month with a 8.80 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP while opponents have hit .274 with 6 home runs in 15 1/3 innings….by far his worst month of the year and this after posting an 0-4 record in 5 starts last August with a 7.06 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP. Piniella and Larry Rothschild have stated that Zambrano is rushing his pitches and must slow his motion down as well as return to the arm angle that allows him to be more effective. The Cubs need Big Z to return to form….ASAZ.
Zambrano is 6-1 in 13 starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Big Z tossed a gem against the Reds the last time he faced them on July 9th. The only hit and run Zambrano allowed in 8 excellent innings of work was a solo home run to Adam Dunn.
Today will be Zambrano’s 4th start of the season against the Reds. He is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP while the Reds have hit .150.
- Paul Bako – 0-for-5
- Jay Bruce – 0-for-3
- Jolbert Cabrera – 1-for-3
- Edwin Encarnacion – 10-for-37 with 2 home runs
- Josh Fogg – 1-for-6
- Jeff Keppinger – 5-for-21 with a double
- Brandon Phillips – 8-for-33 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Javier Valentin – 7-for-26 with 2 doubles
- Joey Votto – 4-for-14 with 2 doubles
Josh Fogg will face the Cubs at Wrigley for the second time this season. Fogg has been in and out of the Reds’ rotation this season (as well as the DL) after a successful stint in Colorado a year ago. Fogg has not posted a win since July 19th at home against the Mets and in his last start on August 13th at Pittsburgh Fogg gave up 4 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
Fogg is 0-2 in his last 4 games, 3 starts, with a 7.31 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP while opponents have hit .313 against him over that span.
Fogg is 7-8 in 21 career starts versus the Cubs with a 6.33 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP….the former Pirate is 3-6 in 11 starts at Wrigley with a 5.69 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
- Henry Blanco – 0-for-3
- Mark DeRosa – 5-for-7 with a double
- Jim Edmonds – 9-for-21 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 9 walks
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-4
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-2 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 15-for-34 with 4 doubles and 3 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 9-for-27 with a double, 4 home runs and 5 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-2 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 3-for-8 with a double and a triple
- Daryle Ward – 3-for-10 with a home run
- Carlos Zambrano – 3-for-7 with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….