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The Biggest Game Of Z's Life: NLDS Game #2, Cubs vs. Dodgers, Thursday 10/2, 8:30 CT


Next Game

Los Angeles Dodgers
@ Chicago Cubs

Thursday, Oct 2, 2008, 8:37 PM CDT
Wrigley Field

Chad Billingsley vs Carlos Zambrano

Mostly cloudy with a 30-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to right field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 60.

Complete Coverage >


MLB Postseason on SB Nation

I have gotten bashed before for calling games "must-win". But I think all of you agree that tonight's game comes under that category. The starting time, as we have discussed before, is bizarre -- there's no reason it couldn't have been at least 30 minutes earlier -- meaning that we're not likely to be finished at Wrigley tonight till near midnight.

Which Z will show up? The no-hit Z? Or the one who stomped off the mound in his next start before Lou even got there in the second inning? It needs to be the former. Most importantly, the big bats have to start hitting the way we know they can.

A reporter from the LA Times named Jim Peltz hung out with us in the bleachers for about half of last night's game. My friend Jeff and I got quoted. I thought that was a pretty good article which captured what it's like out there without resorting to the usual tired old "drunken bleacher bum" garbage.

I received an email today from Chris Speakman, who does sports-related art at his site Sports Propaganda, up to now concentrating on the Red Sox in his native Boston. Here is his first Cub-related poster (done in what he calls "1940's propaganda style":

Go Dome Go!

The Gratuitous Geo Photos don't appear to be working too well. So let's try this one, an Upper Deck 2005 baseball card image:

Hit Geo Hit!

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Chad Billingsley
C.
Billingsley

Dodgers
14-6 W-L 16-10
3.91 ERA 3.14
130 SO 201
72 BB 80
18 HR 14
vs. LA -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Carlos Zambrano 14-6 30 30 1 1 0 0 188.2 172 85 82 18 72 130 3.91 1.29


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Chad Billingsley 16-10 35 32 1 1 0 0 200.2 188 76 70 14 80 201 3.14 1.34

Z's season record, which no doubt the TV yakkers will make a big deal of, vs. the Dodgers is 0-1, 4.91. However, that includes this outstanding performance on May 28 at Wrigley Field, when he was taken out behind 1-0 after 8 innings -- that was the game where he threw 130 pitches and started to get the "shoulder discomfort" after. He gets hit hard by Russell Martin (8-for-13, a homer -- which was hit on June 7 at Dodger Stadium).

Chad Billingsley is also 0-1 vs. his opponent, the Cubs, tonight, with an identical 4.91 ERA. In Billingsley's case, though, the Cubs hit him both times -- a two-run homer by D-Lee on May 26 at Wrigley Field beat him, and he gave up homers to Mark DeRosa and Kosuke Fukudome on June 5 at Dodger Stadium, which helped the Cubs to a 5-4 win, though they had to come back and win it off the Dodgers' closer, Takashi Saito, after Bob Howry blew a 4-3 lead.

Today's game is on TBS again. I'd suggesting turning the sound completely off before you get the idea to maybe throw a brick through your TV.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Once again, a reminder that you can find the overflow comment threads, including the first pitch thread, on the right sidebar of both the front page and any interior page in the box headed "RECENT STORIES IN GAME THREADS". I'm going to post five additional threads after this one: first pitch thread at 8:30, then every 45 minutes after -- 9:15, 10:00, 10:45 and 11:30 pm (all Central time).

Discuss amongst yourselves.