Just Win, Baby: Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Wednesday 9/16, 7:05 CT

Alfonso Soriano's knee surgery was successful, and:

Soriano is expected to join the Cubs in Milwaukee next week to begin his rehab. He will spend three weeks with the team, then work out another three weeks at the Cubs' academy in the Dominican Republic when he returns home for the offseason.

Soriano was placed on the 15-day DL. Can anyone explain why a team would bother to do that after the rosters expand on September 1? There's no need to make room for another player, so why put him on the DL? Also from that link:

[Sam] Fuld showed up at Wrigley Field wearing a protective brace after he injured his wrist making a diving catch of Frank Catalanotto's fly ball to end the Brewers' fifth inning in the Cubs' 2-0 win Monday night.

Fuld may be out for a while, or, as he says later in the article:

"I could be ready to play in a couple days," Fuld said. "We'll just wait to see what happens. I'm not ready to give up on the season by any means."

If he can't come back:

[Lou] Piniella said if Fuld is going to be sidelined for an extended period of time, the club will call up another outfielder. However, the only Minor League team still playing is Double-A Tennessee, which is in the Southern League playoffs. Two possibilities are Tyler Colvin, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, and James Adduci.

Thankfully, the Cubs didn't listen to Carrie. As first posted in dat cub fan daver's FanShot earlier this afternoon, the Cubs have called up So Taguchi and he'll be in town in time for tonight's game. Taguchi is no superstar, and he hit only .248 this year at Iowa, and he's 40. But he can still play the field and pinch-hit. He'll be helpful.

Per Twittermyer, same lineup as yesterday:

Theriot, ss; Fukudome, cf; Lee, 1b; Ramirez, 3b; Soto, c; Bradley, rf; Fontenot, 2b; Scales, lf; Harden, p

Oh, and this is fun.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Harden
Rich Harden
Cubs
vs. Braden Looper
Braden Looper
Brewers
9-8 W-L 12-6
4.04 ERA 4.77
168 SO 90
64 BB 58
23 HR 34
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Rich Harden 9-8 26 25 0 0 0 0 138.0 117 69 62 23 64 168 4.04 1.31


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Braden Looper 12-6 30 30 0 0 0 0 173.2 190 100 92 34 58 90 4.77 1.43

Braden Looper has had a strange year. He's 12-6, but with a high 4.77 ERA. That's because the Brewers have given him 5.6 runs of support per start, which is fourth-most in the National League. He's pitched well twice against the Cubs this year, both times facing Rich Harden, with a win and a no-decision, but has also allowed 34 home runs, which is the most in the major leagues (by four). Only two of those HR were hit by a Cub -- both by Milton Bradley. So, step up tonight, Milton, and hit Looper hard again. Kosuke Fukudome, Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto have also homered off Looper.

Rich Harden has also had an odd season -- we have discussed his extreme home/road and day/night splits here on several occasions. He's done best in home games and night games, so you'd think tonight would be a good chance for him to redeem his last start, since it's a home night game. Harden beat the Brewers in a matchup with Looper on April 10 in Milwaukee (link above), but got hit hard in the rematch with him on July 4 at Wrigley (link above). Current Brewers hitters are hitting only .195 (17-for-87) against Rich.

Today's game is on WCIU, which means if you aren't in metro Chicago, you probably won't see it, unless you have MLB.TV or EI, in which case you'll get the FSN Wisconsin feed. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.

Once again, just two overflow threads today -- 8:15 and 9:15 pm CDT. If there's a need for another one, please post as a FanShot.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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