Game Thirty-Six: Cubs (21-14) vs. Astros (16-19)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Harden (4-1, 4.54/1.35) vs. Brian Moehler (0-2, 8.44/2.06)
While Rich Harden and the Cubs try to win their sixth in a row today, Carlos Zambrano will make a rehab start this afternoon for the Daytona Cubs. The D-Cubs and Big Z face the Dunedin Blue Jays at 1:00pm (12:00pm C.T.) and the game can be heard on DaytonaCubs.com.
Milton Bradley is expected back in today’s lineup and Sean Marshall will be available out of the pen once again. Marshall threw three pitches on Saturday and if Rich Harden struggles, Piniella has Marshall as an option as well as Jose Ascanio.
Lou Piniella’s crew is 4-0 on the current homestand and a win would make the trip to St. Louis a little easier to make…the Cubs open a difficult six game road trip on Tuesday with the Cardinals that ends next Sunday afternoon in San Diego.
From the Jake Fox watch…Jake Fox returned to first base on Saturday and was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in Iowa’s 16-7 loss to Salt Lake. Rich Harden pitched seven strong innings the last time he faced the Astros on May 6 in Houston. Harden allowed only one earned run until the eighth. He took the mound and walked Michael Bourn before serving up a two-run homer to Lance Berkman. Harden ended up allowing three runs on eight hits in seven-plus and was more dominant than his final line for the game.
Harden is coming off his second win of the season at Wrigley. He allowed only two runs (a home run by Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning) on four hits in six innings with a walk and five strikeouts.
Harden has pitched much better on the road (2-0 in three starts with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP) this season than at Wrigley (2-1 in four starts with a 6.27 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP). Harden does not like pitching during the day (1-1 in four starts with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP), as much as he does at night (3-0 in three starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP) and the Cubs will need the ‘good‘ Rich Harden to give them at least a quality start today.
Today will be Harden’s third career start against the Astros. He is 1-0 in his first two starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP.
- Lance Berkman – 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk
- Geoff Blum – 3-for-9 with a home run and a walk
- Michael Bourn – 1-for-4
- Darin Erstad – 8-for-30 with a double and 3 walks
- Jeff Keppinger – 1-for-3
- Carlos Lee – 4-for-15 with a triple and a walk
- Kaz Matsui – 3-for-7 with a triple
- Jason Michaels – 0-for-2
- Hunter Pence – 3-for-6 with a double
- Ivan Rodriguez – 4-for-14 with a walk
- Miguel Tejada – 0-for-9
After spending time on the DL, Brian Moehler will make his second start of the year against the Cubs. Moehler is coming off his best start of the year and gave up one run on five hits in seven innings with a walk and six strikeouts. Moehler has underachieved this season but could be on the verge of turning his season around.
Moehler is 2-3 in 11 career games, eight starts, against the Cubs with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP….at Wrigley, 1-0 in three games, two starts, with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
The Cubs scored seven runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings on April 8 against Moehler in Houston.
- Milton Bradley – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 3-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Freel – 3-for-11 with a double
- Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-9 with a walk
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-1
- Micah Hoffpauir – 0-for-2
- Derrek Lee – 4-for-13 with a double and 2 home runs
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-17 with a double and 2 walks
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-10 with a home run
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-7 with a double and a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….