Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
Jeff Suppan – Suppan matched up against Arizona ace Brandon Webb on Wednesday and remained winless in 11 starts since June 22 despite one of his better efforts. Suppan pitched seven innings for the first time since June 1, and was saddled with three runs on seven hits in a 3-2 loss. D-backs rookie Chris Young hit a changeup for a leadoff home run, and Orlando Hudson followed with a triple that turned into a go-ahead run in the first inning, but Suppan settled in after that flurry and the Brewers forged a short-lived tie in the sixth. Suppan is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA against the Cubs this year.
Rich Hill – Hill posted his 14th quality start of the year in his last start, but did not get a win. He struck out 10, the fifth time in his career he’s reached double digits in strikeouts. What was working? His curve and a consistent fastball. He also was aggressive in his approach, which Hill needs to be successful. He shrugs off his personal win-loss record. “Personal goals aren’t what you look for,” Hill said. “When it’s all said and done at the end, it’s not what you did during the season, it’s how the team did. It’s a positive way of looking at it.”
Additional Notes on Suppan:
Assets: He has a workhorse mentality on the mound and bears down in the clutch. Uses his excellent curveball as an out pitch.
Flaws: His fastball isn’t too hot, so he has to learn to work around hitters’ hot zones, while still throwing strikes. Must work on his approach against right-handed hitters.
What to Watch For
This is our chance to essentially eliminate Milwaukee from the race. If we can sweep them, we can focus our attention to beating the Cardinals. We’ve got our three best starting pitchers on the mound this series, we’re at home, and we get Soriano back today. No Excuses!!!
View the game preview from Baseball Reference for all sorts of useful information including how our guys have faired against today’s starter, bullpen rest report, and much more.
News and Notes
– Matt Avery
– Justin Berg
– Grant Johnson
– Rocky Roquet
– Josh Lansford
– Joe Simokaitis
– Sam Fuld
Geovany Soto – It’s unclear why Soto is still in Triple-A, where the 24-year-old has proven to be one of the best hitters in the Pacific Coast League and the Cubs have shifted through multiple bodies behind the plate. Soto is hitting .358/.427/.653 on the year, and has hit .417/.465/.771 in August after a .367/.450/.735 July. Although Jason Kendall has hit well beyond any reasonable expectation (.298/.392/.404 in 104 at-bats) since joining the Cubs, Soto is likely the better near-and long-term option for the franchise.
Josh Vitters – It may be harsh to hit the No. 3 overall pick in 2007 so early, but the hype he received as a hitter has not proven anything yet. In his first five games he is hitting .095/.091/.095 in 21 at-bats. He has also struck out five times and hasn’t drawn a walk yet. It’s hard to have a higher average than on-base percentage, but he’s done it so far.
Tracked Players Results
View the full organizational report from First Inning
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