Scouting Report on todays starters from
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

  • Donald Veal finally got himself deep into a ball game, going 7.1 innings yesterday. Maybe he’s figuring things out.
  • The Cubs have announced that the following players will be attending the Arizona Fall League
    Matt Avery
    Justin Berg
    Grant Johnson
    Rocky Roquet
    Josh Lansford
    Joe Simokaitis
    Sam Fuld

  • Baseball America’s Hot Sheet mentioned a couple of baby Cubs (Source)

    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

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa 8, Memphis 10
  • AA – Tennessee 7, Chattanooga 3
  • High-A – Daytona 4, Vero Beach 3
  • A – Peoria 4, Beloit 2
  • Short Season – Boise 7, Yakima 5
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs 8, Rangers 7

    View the full organizational report from First Inning

    Don’t see someone listed in the tracked players report? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to add that name to the regular rotation.

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    Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail