National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, July 27th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (42-61) at Milwaukee Brewers (55-49), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Carlos Zambrano (7-5, 4.70)
Milwaukee - Zack Greinke (7-4, 4.84)
(Sports Network) - Brewers starter Zack Greinke brings a five-start winless
streak into his outing tonight at Miller Park, where he has yet to lose this
Something may give Wednesday when Milwaukee's hurler goes up against the
Chicago Cubs in the middle portion of a three-game series.
Greinke was unable to halt his personal slide in Arizona on Thursday despite
pitching a solid outing. The former Cy Young Award winner gave up two runs --
both on solo homers -- over seven innings, striking out seven in a 4-0 loss.
He is still 0-2 with a 5.00 earned run average over his drought, fanning 34 in
Still, the right-handed Greinke is showing signs of a turnaround, lowering his
ERA to 4.84 on the season with a 7-4 record.
"He felt good. He wanted to go back out for another inning," said Brewers
manager Ron Roenicke of Greinke after the Diamondbacks game.
Greinke puts an undefeated record at Miller Park this season on the line,
going 5-0 with a 4.09 ERA in seven starts, and faces the Cubs for just the
second time. In his debut versus his new division rival in Chicago on June 16,
the 27-year-old struck out 10, but also yielded eight runs -- six earned --
over 5 1/3 innings to take a loss.
Greinke struck out Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano twice, but also served
up a homer to Carlos Pena.
He'll try to pitch the Brewers to a series victory this evening after they
took last night's opener, 3-2.
All five runs came in the first inning, with Ramirez hitting a two-run homer
in the top of the frame. Milwaukee came right back with an RBI double by Ryan
Braun and a Casey McGehee triple that chased home two runs.
Chicago had a chance to do some damage in the sixth inning when Brewers
starter Chris Narveson loaded the bases with nobody out. However, Kameron Loe
came in and got Soriano to ground into a force out at home before Darwin
Barney hit into a double play.
"Loe was outstanding, getting two ground balls to get us out of a bases loaded
situation," said Roenicke, whose club had lost three of four and is a half-
game back of the Cardinals for first place in the National League Central.
Cubs starter Ryan Dempster lasted six innings and failed to extend his
personal six-game win streak over the Brewers. He probably wishes he could
have that pitch to McGehee back as it ended up costing the Cubs their three-
game win streak.
"I had a chance to get out of the inning, but I left a pitch over the plate to
McGehee and he hit it into the corner," said Dempster. "I certainly never
thought it would be the end of the scoring for the game, but I just got
Chicago starter Carlos Zambrano saw the tables turned in his last start as he
was the one to escape a pair of bases-loaded situations with minimal damage
and that helped him win for the first time in four starts.
The big right-hander was blasted for eight runs over 4 2/3 innings of a loss
to the Marlins on July 16 in his return from a trip to disabled list caused by
a back injury, but held the Astros to a pair of runs over six innings to win
for only the second time in nine starts. Zambrano could have buried himself
early, loading the bases with nobody out in the second and third innings, but
allowed only one run.
"It seemed like he settled down after the first couple innings. I thought his
stuff was a lot better," Chicago manager Mike Quade said of Zambrano, who
moved to 7-5 with a 4.70 ERA this season.
No stranger to the Brewers, Zambrano beat them in Milwaukee on April 8 even
though he gave up four runs over six innings. He was less fortunate in a
rematch at Chicago on June 15, yielding five runs over six frames of a loss to
fall to 13-9 with a 3.85 ERA versus Milwaukee.
The 30-year-old has tried to pick his spots with Prince Fielder, who is 1-
for-3 with a solo homer and three walks versus Zambrano this season. McGehee
has driven in three runs off him in 2011, while Rickie Weeks is 3-for-7 with a
pair of doubles.
These two clubs have split eight meetings so far this season.
07/27 10:56:15 ET
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