Seven walks in eight innings and zero runs allowed; that can't happen too often and I don't know if I should praise Z for gutting through a game without his best stuff or laugh at the Astros for their ineptitude at getting guys home. The Cubs now have 5 shutout victories this year, 3 of them against the Astros, 2 of them in games started by Zambrano (The other was by Sean Marshall). The other 2 shutouts were in back-to-back games versus the Nationals in games started by....wait for it.....Zambrano and Marshall.
On the rehab front, we've got Derrek Lee taking 20 swings yesterday off a tee, Mark Prior saying he's not giving up on 2006
(even though he should) and Wade Miller is set for another minor league start tomorrow with Iowa. And good news (sarcasm), Miller is probably going to be around next year as well:
We both had pretty much an agreement this was going to be more than just one year. See how it goes this year, and if Iím able to pitch next year, hopefully Iíll be able to stick around here.î
You say you want Murton batting second in the order? Guess who disagrees:
ìNo, not against Oswalt. Not when Neifiís hitting .430-something against him or whatever it is. Thereís probably more temptation to move (outfielder Angel) Pagan in the 2-spot because of his speed and the fact heís a switch hitter. No. We need production out of Murton and hopefully down in the order.
ìHeís done pretty good down in the order, sixth or seventh, so you donít really mess with it too much.î
Everyone remember 1984? We had our best hitter batting 2nd all season and had a pretty good offense. There's even a study out there that suggests
putting your best hitters in the #1, #2 and #4 slots to maximize offense. Of course I could be wrong, putting guys up top who won't be on base for our best hitters is probably a better idea.
Our pals over at "Inside the Ivy"
tip us off that AA players Brian Dopirak, Nic Jackson and Gary Cates are done for the year. Apparently Dopirak's foot was still broken when he came off the DL (Shocked I tell you, shocked). Thanks to Steve Holley over there for the info.