[Is Angel Guzman, pictured, the Mets last best hope?]
Mets fans, please send “thank you” notes to Mr. Lou Piniella, c/o Wrigley Field. For reasons I don’t want to worry about “ such as Carlos Zambrano’s undead arm returning for the post-season “ the Cubs have announced that all that stands between the Brewers’ CC Sabbathia and another win tomorrow is Angel Guzman “ not Zambrano. “He’s 0-7 in 32 career games. Maybe Sunday, he’ll get a win,” says the Cubs’ Carrie Muskat, in a bit if uncharacteristic sabre-rattling. Muskat reassures Mets fans with the following, headlined, “Guzman Standing in Brewers’ Way”:
The Cubs will have a 20-something right-handed Venezuelan on the mound Sunday, but it’s not who you think.
Angel Guzman will start for Chicago in the final regular-season game, which has much more meaning for the Brewers than the Cubs. Milwaukee is tied with the New York Mets for the National League Wild Card lead, and whatever happens Sunday could determine who the Cubs will face in the NL Division Series, which begins Wednesday at Wrigley Field.
If both the Mets and Brewers win Sunday, they will have a one-game tiebreaker game Monday at Shea Stadium. If the Mets win, and the Brewers lose, the Cubs will play the Mets in the NLDS. If the Brewers win the Wild Card, the Cubs will play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It’s amazing how you play 161 games and it comes down to the last game,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Before Saturday’s game, a 7-3 Chicago win, Piniella said Carlos Zambrano would start in the series finale and most likely go only two innings. The last time Zambrano pitched at Miller Park, he made history, throwing a no-hitter Sept. 14 against the Houston Astros. The game had been relocated to Milwaukee from Houston because of Hurricane Ike.
Asked what he’d do if Zambrano didn’t give up a hit over his two innings, Piniella laughed. More important, Zambrano probably would have insisted on at least one at-bat before he was pulled.
“I might as well hit him fourth,” Piniella said.
That’s old news. After Saturday’s game, Guzman was announced as the starter. The young right-hander underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow last August and has overcome shoulder surgery as well. He’s 0-7 in 32 career games. Maybe Sunday, he’ll get a win.