Game 139 Thread / Astros @ Cubs (2 of 3)
|SP||Brandon Backe||SP||Carlos Zambrano|
|9-12, 5.42, 122 K, 72 BB, 159.1 IP||13-5, 3.53, 114 K, 61 BB, 168.1 IP|
|CF||*Michael Bourn||LF||Alfonso Soriano|
|LF||Ty Wigginton||2B||*Mike Fontenot|
|SS||Miguel Tejada||1B||Derrek Lee|
|1B||#Lance Berkman||3B||Aramis Ramirez|
|3B||#Geoff Blum||RF||Mark DeRosa|
|RF||Hunter Pence||CF||*Jim Edmonds|
|2B||*David Newhan||C||Geovany Soto|
|C||Humberto Quintero||SS||Ryan Theriot|
|P||Brandon Backe||P||#Carlos Zambrano|
While Cub fans are hoping that the team's bats will come back to life (no EBH's among the club's last 27 hits), the greater concern right now is with Carlos Zambrano.
All Cubdom would like to see that the two extra days of rest Zambrano got when his scheduled Sunday start was pushed back to this evening have proven beneficial to his
"fatigued" "dead" tired arm. If nothing else, in the span of those two days, the calendar turned from August to September.
As mentioned here—and everywhere else—previously, in five starts this past month, Zambrano went 1-1, 7.42, allowing opponents to hit .284 with a cumulative 917 OPS. He was 0-4, 7.06 in August of 2007, and in his career, Zambrano has gone 12-16, 4.22 in August starts. His lifetime September numbers are better: 17-10, 3.48 in 32 starts. Of course, all that really matters right now is he does this September.
His opposite number tonight, Brandon Backe, was the victim of that eight-run third inning, not to mention a grand slam by Mark DeRosa and a three-run job by Alfonso Soriano, the last time he pitched at Wrigley, the first week in August.
Backe's team, however, comes into the game having won six games in a row and closed to within two games of the third-place Cardinals. Maybe the Astros' veteran catcher, growing wistful as he nears the end of his career, can distract his mates by infecting them with his wistfulness.
(Brad) Ausmus, like most Major Leaguers, considers the Windy City the best of all road destinations. Playing day games at a historic, festive ballpark such as Wrigley Field and having nights free to enjoy some of the "best restaurants in the world," by Ausmus' estimation, make trips to Chicago a pleasure for all.
"I'll miss Wrigley," Ausmus said. "There's nothing more fun than an 80-degree day in the middle of summer at Wrigley Field...When I'm done playing, I plan on making a trip and watching a couple of games from the bleachers," Ausmus said... "That is something I definitely will do."