Game One Hundred Thirty-Six: Cubs (58-77) vs. Mets (66-69)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (6-6, 4.36/1.67) vs. Jenrry Mejia (0-2, 3.25/1.59)
The Cubs are 7-3 under Mike Quade … could they win their third in a row this afternoon? After falling behind in the first inning Friday, the Cubs battled back and won a game, a feat that has not happened too many time this season.
Today was expected to be a battle of rookie starters … Casey Coleman against Jenrry Mejia. The Cubs pushed Coleman back to Monday or Tuesday against the Astros and moved Carlos Zambrano up a day. Zambrano was originally penciled in for Sunday.
Jenrry Mejia will be making his first big league start this afternoon.
In Other News
Carlos Silva is expected to be activated from the DL early next week. Silva could start on either Monday or Tuesday against Houston.
James Russell became the fifth Cubs pitcher to earn his first big league victory this season. Russell improved to 1-1 in his first year in the Majors.
Today it all being with Carlos Zambrano … Carlos Zambrano is coming off decent start against the Pirates … and if not for all of the free passes, Z has been very good since returning to the rotation.
Zambrano has posted a win in three of his last four starts and his outings against the Cardinals (August 14) and Nationals (August 24) could be considered two of his better starts since July of 2008. Zambrano appears to be pitching and the 3-0 record in seven games, five starts, in August with a 2.23 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP gives reason for hope in the future.
Zambrano is 2-2 in 14 games, five starts, at Wrigley this season with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. The 20 walks and 41 hits in 38 1/3 innings is not good but the 10 earned runs is more than sufficient.
Z faced the Mets back in April at Citi Field … and put together a good outing. Zambrano received a loss in his final start before being sent to the pen. Z allowed only two runs on six hits in six innings with a season-high nine strikeouts and three walks. The Cubs were shutout 4-0 by Mike Pelfrey.
This afternoon will be Z’s 11th career start versus the Mets. He is 4-3 in 11 games, 10 starts, with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano
- Carlos Beltran – 1-for-15 with a home run and 6 walks
- Henry Blanco – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Luis Castillo – 11-for-20 with 8 walks
- Ike Davis – 0-for-3
- Angel Pagan – 4-for-9
- Jose Reyes – 5-for-21 with a double, a triple and a walk
- David Wright – 3-for-21 with 4 walks
The Cubs will get their first look at Jenrry Mejia in a starting role. Mejia began the year in the Mets’ pen but has been in the minors (Double-A and Triple-A) since the end of June. Mejia will make his first big league start this afternoon.
Mejia has an electric arm but has trouble with his command. In 27 2/3 innings with the Mets this season, Mejia walked 15 batters but struck out 17 and gave up 29 hits. The Cubs faced him twice during the series in April … and did not manage a hit against him in two innings. Lou’s offense walked three times and struck out twice.
Baseball America ranked Mejia the Mets’ top prospect prior to this season.
Jeff Baker, Marlon Byrd, Tyler Colvin, Blake DeWitt, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto have all faced Mejia at least once … with Soto being the only Cub that has faced him twice. Soto walked twice while the rest did not manage a hit.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …