Chicago Cubs vs. Florida Marlins Preview, Saturday 7/16, 12:05 CT: A New Closer

Write your own caption. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Cubs will have a temporary new closer today, presuming today's game needs one. Not that Mike Quade will pay any attention to us, but vote in the poll below for who you'd choose if you were deciding this issue. Chris Carpenter was sent to Iowa today when Big Z was activated, but vote for him anyway if you like the idea of trying him as closer.

The Cubs are 76-75 all-time against the Marlins after yesterday's win. If they win today, they will clinch the series against the "Florida" Marlins -- as next year, the team becomes the "Miami" Marlins. (Now if we could only get them to change their name to "Gators" and move to the American League...)

Cubs lineup:
Fukudome RF, Castro SS, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, Byrd CF, Soto C, Soriano LF, Barney 2B, Zambrano P
Marlins lineup:
Bonifacio 3b, Infante 2b, Morrison lf, Ramirez ss, Sanchez 1b, Stanton rf, Petersen cf, Hayes c, Vazquez p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Javier Vazqyez
Javier Vazquez
Marlins
6-4 W-L 5-8
4.34 ERA 5.23
75 SO 66
42 BB 34
9 HR 14
vs. Fla -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Carlos Zambrano 6-4 19 18 0 0 0 0 112.0 111 56 54 9 42 75 4.34 1.37


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Javier Vazquez 5-8 20 18 0 0 0 0 96.1 111 65 56 14 34 66 5.23 1.51

Carlos Zambrano returns from the DL to make his first start since he had to leave in the second inning against the Giants on June 30. Oddly, in his last start against the Marlins -- on August 1, 2009 -- he had to leave for the same reason, back trouble. (That was the start before he pulled out of a start at Colorado while he was warming up in the bullpen.) Current Marlins are hitting .232 (16-for-69) against him and the Marlin he's faced most is Mike Cameron (2-for-19).

Javier Vazquez is pitching for his sixth team. He's losing his effectiveness -- this is the second year in a row he's posted an ERA over 5 -- and at age 35, he's probably on the short list of washed-up pitchers the Cubs will get next. Anyway, the last time he faced a Cubs team was on July 7, 2009 when he was with the Braves, coincidentally against Big Z. Aramis Ramirez has hit against him most, and best: 10-for-32 (.313), two doubles, a triple, two home runs.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Florida. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Marlins site Fish Stripes. They still seem kind of lonely over there.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 12:05 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 1 pm, 2 pm and 2:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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