The Diamondbacks will play the percentages against Chicago right-hander Carlos Zambrano in Game 1, with left-handed bats Tony Clark starting at first base and Jeff Salazar in right field.
The D-Backs have played it that way most of the last two weeks, with Conor Jackson and Justin Upton starting against lefties, a likely scenario in Games 2 and 3.
“The numbers would suggest maybe left-handers have a better time with (Zambrano),” D-Backs manager Bob Melvin said.
“Every matchup counts. You try to maximize each matchup you can.”
Zambrano, who won 18 games this season, held right-handed hitters to a .200 batting average in 401 at-bats. Lefties hit .268 against him in 401 at-bats.
Zambrano is a candidate to pitch Sunday on three days’ rest, when he would face D-Backs No. 4 starter Micah Owings if the game is necessary.
WEBB MATCHES UP WELL
Brandon Webb is 4-1 with a 2.74 ERA in eight career starts against the Cubs, and has never given up more than four runs in a game, and that only once. His only loss was 6-2 this July 20.
“Obviously they have a great lineup ... a lot of power,” Webb said. “A couple guys at the top of their lineup are speed guys, so if they get on you are going to have to hold them on ... vary your hold (times) and keep them from stealing.”
Zambrano is 1-3 with a 4.88 ERA against the D-Backs, throwing a three-hit, 4-1 victory on Aug. 22, 2003, before losing one start apiece in 2004 and 2005.
He was ejected on his way off the field after being replaced in the top of the fifth inning in the 2005 season opener, when he gave up three runs in a 16-6 loss.
LIVO WANTS THE FANS
Livan Hernandez remembers the chills he felt when Florida fans rose en masse to greet him as he left the bullpen for his start in Game 1 of the 1997 World Series, and wants D-Backs fans to understand how much that can help.
“I got goose bumps. To see 70,000 people get up and start going 'Livo, Livo,” Hernandez said.
“That kind of (support) makes you better. I wonder if the people in Arizona understand support is very important. This team made the playoffs.
“It’s time the fans show up and give support to the team. The team made it, the fans made it, because the fans help the team win, too.”
The D-Backs were 12th in the NL in attendance this season, averaging 28,707 a game, although it picked up in the final month.
Orlando Hudson (thumb) will be permitted to sit in the dugout during the Cubs’ series, general manager Josh Byrnes said. “I’m just trying to contribute any way I can,” said Hudson, who won’t play in the series because of surgery on Sept. 10. “It’s been a hell of a run.” ...
Hernandez, who has not pitched since last Wednesday, threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session to stay sharp for a Game 3 start. ...
Chad Tracy (right knee microfracture surgery ) was on crutches in the clubhouse Monday but already has begun a rehab program that he hopes will get him ready for spring training. He sent text messages to Tony Clark, Orlando Hudson and others on the last road trip “trying to keep everybody fired up.”