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Game Thread #152: Cubs (78-72) at Brewers (74-77)

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Current Series

Cubs lead the series 2-0

Mon 09/21 WP: Tom Gorzelanny (6 - 2)
LP: Braden Looper (13 - 7)
2 - 10 loss
Tue 09/22 WP: Randy Wells (11 - 9)
LP: Dave Bush (5 - 8)
2 - 7 loss

Chicago Cubs
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009, 7:05 PM CDT
Miller Park

Jeff Samardzija vs Chris Narveson

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

Complete Coverage >

Clearly, a Samardzija/Narveson matchup is exactly what we all expected from a key September game between the Cubs and Brewers. With that said, the Cubs could be eliminated and the Cardinals could clinch the NL Central if they win tonight and the Brewers beat the Cubs.

Follow the jump for tonight's pitching matchup, lineup and conversation on tonight's game!

Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 7.89) is making just his second career major league start today, but spent much of the season as a starter in AAA, where he posted a 4.35 ERA in 89 innings. He's allowed a ton of baserunners in his brief time in the majors this season, putting up a 1.854 WHIP and allowing 12.4 hits per nine innings. Samardzija is facing the Brewers for the sixth time in his career, and has posted a 7.11 ERA in 6.1 innings against them.

Meanwhile Chris Narveson (1-0, 4.22) has brought his numbers back down into the acceptable range, and makes his third start of 2009 tonight. He's posted a 2.11 ERA since returning to the big leagues, and allowed just one earned run on four hits in five innings his last time out. He threw 86 pitches in that start, so he should be good for roughly 100 today, performance permitting.

Jody Gerut is back in the lineup tonight in right field: (h/t Tyler Barnes)

Felipe Lopez 2B
Jody Gerut RF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Mike Cameron CF
Jason Kendall C
Alcides Escobar SS
Chris Narveson P

And in the bullpen:

John Axford pitched .2 innings (5 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Monday.
Chris Smith
pitched 2.2 innings (42 pitches) last night.Mike Burns pitched two innings (28 pitches) last night.Claudio Vargas pitched 1.1 innings (15 pitches) last night.Todd Coffey pitched one inning (15 pitches) last night.
Josh Butler
pitched two innings (36 pitches) Monday.
Seth McClung pitched one inning (27 pitches) Monday.
Mitch Stetter pitched one inning (16 pitches) Monday.
Carlos Villanueva
has not pitched since Sunday.
David Weathers
has not pitched since Saturday.
Trevor Hoffman has not pitched since Friday.

Enjoy the game!