Game Forty-Eight: Cubs (21-26) vs. Mets (23-25)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (4-2, 4.88/1.31) vs. R.A. Dickey (2-5, 4.71/1.55)
Weather permitting … Q’s squad will try to rebound from Wednesday’s poor performance and win their first series at Wrigley since April 18 – April 20 against the Padres. The Cubs have won only two series at home this season.
The Cubs offense will face a knuckleballer for the second time in four games. R.A. Dickey throws his knuckleball a little harder than Tim Wakefield and the Cubs must show more patience against Dickey than they did Sunday night with Tim Wakefield.
The Cubs are looking to get back to .500 during this homestand, which would mean a win this afternoon is a must.
Geovany Soto begins his minor league rehab assignment with the Tennessee Smokies tonight. Soto is expected to play down in Double-A for the next two days and if everything goes as planned he could rejoin the big league team this weekend.
In other news … Mike Quade hinted Wednesday that Tony Campana could make his first big league start this afternoon. With Kosuke Fukudome not hitting (.226/.369/.283/.652 in May, just 12-for-53 in last 15 games), if Campana is in the starting lineup, Reed Johnson should slide over to right field to keep his bat in the lineup.
This afternoon it all starts with Carlos Zambrano … Don’t be surprised if the Cubs shorten up Carlos Zambrano this afternoon. Z is coming off a solid outing against the Red Sox but threw 122 pitches, the most for Z in a single outing since June of 2008. Z kept his team in the game and they eventually beat the Red Sox 9-3 after scoring eight in a crazy eighth inning.
Zambrano has not posted a win since May 4 but has pitched good enough to win in two of his last three starts. Z is 1-1 in his last four outings with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Z’s fifth start of the year at Wrigley and Big Z is still looking for his first home victory … 0-1 in four games with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Carlos Zambrano is 5-3 in 12 career games, 11 starts, versus the Mets with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP … last season, 1-1 in two starts with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano
- Jason Bay – 14-for-41 with 4 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs and 9 walks
- Carlos Beltran – 3-for-18 with a home run and 6 walks
- Scott Hairston – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Willie Harris – 4-for-24 with 2 walks
- Daniel Murphy – 1-for-7 with a walk
- Ronny Paulino – 1-for-19 with 4 walks
- Jose Reyes – 5-for-21 with a double, a triple and a walk
- Josh Thole – 0-for-1
R.A. Dickey has been consistently inconsistent for the Mets this season. Dickey posted a 1-3 record in six games, five starts, in April with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. The knuckleballer is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 5.92 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Dickey is coming off a solid six-inning start against the Yankees in which he allowed one run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Dickey picked up his second win with the quality start.
Dickey has been more successful on the road (2-1 in five games, four starts, with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP) than at home (0-4 in five starts with a 5.85 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP) this season.
The Cubs beat R.A. Dickey last September 3 at Wrigley, the only time they’ve faced the former first round pick of the Texas Rangers (1996, 18th overall). The Cubs scored seven runs on eight hits in six innings and hit a couple of home runs (0-1 in one start with a 10.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP).
Cubs Career Numbers against R.A. Dickey
- Starlin Castro – 2-for-3
- Blake DeWitt – 2-for-5 with a home run
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-3 with a double
- Carlos Pena – 2-for-10 with 2 home runs and 2 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-5 with a home run
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