Series Preview: at Brewers 4/8/11 – 4/10/11
By Joe Han
With the off day, it is a good time to take a moment to look ahead at the Cubs first road trip, although it is a short drive up to Milwaukee. With the Brewers one of the serious contenders anointed by the experts to finish ahead of the Cubs, it will be a good early season test to see how our boys stack up, even if both teams are missing pitchers from their rotation.
Carlos Zambrano (0-0) vs Randy Wolf (0-1)
Zambrano will make his second start of the season and hopes to improve from his last outing. This game is a good bet for him to do so as he loves to pitch in Miller Park (see his no hitter in 2008), where he has a career record of 9-5. Randy Wolf is not a name that strikes fear in hitters, but the Cubs do not scare the pitcher either. Look for Marlon Byrd, Jeff Baker, and Geo Soto to collect some hits as they love to face Wolf. Carlos Pena is scheduled to make his return from his thumb injury.
Matt Garza (0-0) vs Chris Narveson (0-0)
The newest Cubs pitcher had an interesting debut, recording a career high 12 strikeouts but also giving up 12 hits. If he can keep his pitches down, he should be able to hold his own against a Brewers line up that features several bats with power. In Narveson the Cubs will be facing a south paw for the second straight day. The Cubs have had relatively limited at bats against this young pitcher, but Byrd and Soto once again top the list of candidates that will look forward to facing Narveson. The only concern is that in recent seasons, the Cubs have not always had the best performances against young pitchers they have not seen often.
TBD vs Yovani Gallardo (1-0)
This is the first game that the Cubs will officially feel the loss of Randy Wells. The Cubs have yet to announce the roster moves to fill the voids in the rotation, but look for more information to become available on Friday. Or the Cubs could try to play the mental game of not announcing the starter right away to leave the Brewers guessing on who they will see. Whoever gets the call, however, will have to face the tough Gallardo, who was the Brewers ace in 2010 before the trade for Zack Greinke.