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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Brewers, Sunday 4/8, 1:05 CT

I'm posting today's game thread early because later this morning, I'm heading up to Miller Park for the game, my first game of the regular season.

And, hopefully, to witness the first Cub sweep in Milwaukee since September 2003, and their first sweep of any kind since they swept the Astros in Houston last August 14, 15 and 16 (don't believe me? Click on the links!). In fact, bad as last year's team was, they swept three series, two of them against the Cardinals.

May there be many such sweeps in 2007, starting today.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Wade Miller
W. Miller
vs. Chris Capuano
C. Capuano
making W-L 0-0
his ERA 5.40
2007 SO 6
season BB 2
debut HR 1
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs
Capuano owns the Cubs, with a 7-2 lifetime record against them, but three hitters -- Derrek Lee (12-for-37, .324, 1 HR), Aramis Ramirez (10-for-31, .323, 2 HR) and Michael Barrett (7-for-19, 3 doubles, 3 HR) have all hit him hard. Time for some more of that.

Miller makes his season debut, having had a consistent and strong spring. He didn't just win the fifth-starter slot by default; he actually pitched well, particularly when I saw him throw in Scottsdale on March 24 vs. the Giants.

Those of you who have Extra Innings should be able to pick up today's telecast (it'll be the Brewers feed via FSN North), or there's the Mediacenter, or Gameday. And, if you have a last-minute thought of going to the game, as of posting time tickets were still available via this link. Incidentally, if you were thinking you can't get a ticket for the home opener, there appear to be some scattered single seats available.

Fun stat from, about Rich Hill's stellar outing on Friday:

He's the first Cubs left-handed starter to throw at least seven innings and give up just one hit in more than 30 years, when STATS Inc. began tracking the data in the mid-1970s. Juan Pizarro was the last to do so, on Aug. 5, 1971, against the San Diego Padres. The others include Ken Holtzman, who did so in three games, including no-hitters on June 3, 1971, and Aug. 19, 1969.
Oh, Carlos? Making smack talk like this:
"The difference was the ballclub," Zambrano said of following a poor five-inning start against the Reds with seven strong innings Saturday. "In Cincinnati, they're better hitters than in Milwaukee. I don't say that the Milwaukee Brewers are nothing, but the offense of the Cincinnati Reds is better."
... isn't always such a great idea. I'm guessing that's going to be on the bulletin board in the Brewers' clubhouse today.

Finally, the Cubs will miss Roy Oswalt in the upcoming home-opening series vs. the Astros. Pitching matchups: Monday, Ted Lilly vs. Woody Williams; Tuesday: Jason Marquis vs. Chris Sampson (although, last year's team was dominated by Sampson; Wednesday: Rich Hill vs. Wandy Rodriguez.

Discuss amongst yourselves.