Probable Pitching Matchups
Game 1 – Carlos Zambrano vs. Ben Sheets
Game 2 – Ted Lilly vs. Jeff Suppan
Game 3 – Ryan Dempster vs. Dave Bush
Scouting Report on Milwaukee’s Pitchers
Sheets – With a fastball that can reach the upper-90’s, he keeps hitters off-balance by mixing in a hard breaking curve. Has tremendous control and can work inside. Has a wealth of injury and durability issues that continue to wreak havoc with his career. Hitters also have a lot of success on his first pitch. An ace starter when healthy.
Suppan – Has a workhorse mentality on the mound and bears down in the clutch. Uses his excellent curveball as his out-pitch. Is a tremendous leader. His fastball is somewhat straight and hittable. Throws too many strikes and doesn’t fool hitters enough. Needs to avoid the big inning to be successful. A decent No. 4 or 5 starter.
Bush – His solid fastball sits in the low 90’s and he adds a quality curve ball and decent change-up and slider. Throws everything with good command and poise. Needs to avoid big first innings in order to survive as a starting pitcher. Gets shaky with runners aboard. Must avoid more bats with regularity. A decent mid-rotation starter.
Miscellaneous News & Notes
- The 25 man roster was set on Sunday afternoon and figures to stay the same until Scott Eyre returns from the DL.
- Derrek Lee has hit Sheets well in his career (.341 / .333 / .727)
- Aramis Ramirez has not hit Sheets well in his career (.204 / .236 / .347)
- Jon Lieber will celebrate his 38th birthday on Wednesday
Fearless Prediction for the Series
The Cubs will take two of three to start the year. I’d love to go on record and say that Zambrano will finally get the monkey off his back and be good on opening day, but I’m not quite ready to commit to that year.