Friday, July 30, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS Rockies

Update 4:40 CT- Bobby Howry has been released by the Cubs. He was let go to make room for Carlos Zambrano on the roster, who if officially reinstated according a tweet from Carrie Muskat.

The Cubs are set to begin a three game series in Colorado tonight. The big story though is the fact that that the Major League Baseball trade deadline is less than 24 hours away. Will Hendry make a move our will the Cubs roster still be intact by the second game of this set tomorrow night?

The Cubbies still cannot figure out how to beat the terrible teams in the NL Central. They dropped two of three to the Astros earlier in the week, losing a series to the 'Stros for the second week in a row. They must win this series in order to salvage a decent road trip.

Lou's crew comes in with a 46-56 record, ten games under .500. They have dropped back to fourth place in the Central, 10.5 behind the first place Reds. They are looking to get back in the win column tonight after back-to-back losses Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday's off day. The Cubs are 20-29 away from Wrigley.

The Rockies are not exactly riding high either. They have lost eight of their last nine to fall out of the NL West picture. As it stands going into action tonight, Colorado has a 52-50 overall mark, which puts them in fourth in the West. They are 9 games in back of the Padres.

Colorado topped Pittsburgh yesterday 9-3 to end and eight game losing streak. They are a cold team, but they're getting healthy as players are starting to return from injuries. The Rockies coaching staff includes several guys with Cubs connections like first base coach Glenallen Hill (Cubs outfielder '93-'94, '98-'99), hitting coach Don Baylor (Cubs manager 2000-'02), and
manager Jim Tracy (made his MLB debut as a player with the Cubs in 1980).

Other than the trade deadline, the big story this weekend is the return of Carlos Zambrano. Big Z has been on the restricted list with his anger issues since a dugout explosion in a mid-June game against the White Sox. The media will be all over Zambrano, who is expected to meet with his team and talk about the incident.

Here is Carlos' minor league rehab recap:
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R in only outing with Mesa Cubs
1 IP, 2 H, 0 R in July 22 outing with Iowa Cubs
2 IP, 1 H, 0 R in July 24 outing with Iowa Cubs
1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 ER in July 27 outing with Iowa Cubs

The Cubs will have to make a move in order to make room for Zambrano on the roster. There is a chance that Bobby Howry will be let go of, but most likely Brian Schlitter or Justin Berg will head back to Iowa.

The Cubs have had success against Colorado this season. They swept a brief two game set at Wrigley May 17-18. This is the only trip to Coors Field that the Cubs make all year, it is the final set between the two teams, and a win tonight could assure the Cubs a season series victory.

Game 1: Friday at 8:10 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (8-7, 3.71 ERA)
Rockies Starting Pitcher: Jeff Francis, LHP (3-3, 4.56 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN Radio

Game 2: Saturday at 7:10 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (6-5, 3.22 ERA)
Rockies Starting Pitcher: Jason Hammel, RHP (7-6, 4.34 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN Radio

Game 3: Sunday at 2:10 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Carlos Silva, RHP (10-4, 3.76 ERA)
Rockies Starting Pitcher: Jorge De La Rosa, LHP (3-3, 5.15 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio

Ron Santo is not on this road trip, but his health if fine and he is resting at home. Keith Moreland did a great job of pinch hitting on the WGN Radio broadcast in Houston. Most likely either Davd Otto or Judd Sirott will join Pat Hughes for this series.

I will update this post if any news breaks.

Let's finish out the month strong!

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