Is Miller Park REALLY an Away Game?

I believe I have written before that the idea that “This series is important” or “This game is important” is kind of a silly notion.  There are 162 games and though the idea is to just win series’, there are numerous opportunities to make up lost ground.  That said…this series is important.

I don’t think it’s terribly important numbers-wise, although the Cubs and Brewers were close enough last year for it to scare me.  If a few games would have gone the other way, the Cubs wouldn’t have enjoyed getting destroyed by the Arizona in the playoffs.  This series feels important because it has the potential to be a momentum-builder, especially for the Cubs.  I would think it would be kind of deflating for the Brewers if the Cubs strolled into Wrigley-North (Miller Park) and not only won the series, but also beat CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets.  The Cubs managed to keep the game close  against Sabathia and get into the Brewers bullpen.  The key to beating the Brewers is to get to their bullpen.  Tonight, Zambrano faces Sheets and Carlos loves these pressured situations.  I expect him to give the Cubs a good chance to win.  This is the type of game that will be a low-scoring game that will probably come down to an error or some other flukey play.

I really do feel that the Brewers have more to lose in this series. 

* Derek Lee escaped hitting into another double play after the error by Rickie Weeks.  Lee has hit into 21 double plays already this year.  That’s 6 more than he had in all of the 2007 season.

* Marmol looked great last night.  He was intense and masterful.  It seemed he had much more control over his pitches and he made batters look silly.

* Samardzija has stepped up well.  He looked a little shaky in his first appearance, but that’s to be expected.  He pitched a great two innings on Sunday and earned his first save.  If you believe what Lou Piniella says, Samardzija won’t necessarily be headed back to Iowa when Wood comes off the DL. “You see a young man throwing the ball like that, I don’t think he’ll be the guy leaving, I’ll tell you that,” Piniella said.  I would say that he definitely helped shore up the bullpen and he’s helped just as much as going out and getting someone at the trade deadline.  Let’s hope he can keep this up.  I like what I see.

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