Game 48 Thread / Cubs @ Pirates (1 of 3)

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP *Zach Duke
  6-1, 2.45, 46 K, 19 BB, 66 IP
2-2, 4.23, 20 K, 19 BB, 55.1 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B Freddy Sanchez
SS Ryan Theriot CF *Nate McLouth
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
C Geovany Soto RF Xavier Nady
2B Ronny Cedeño 3B *Doug Mientkiewicz
RF Mark DeRosa C Ronny Paulino
CF Reed Johnson SS Chris Gomez
P #Carlos Zambrano P *Zach Duke












Yes, the Washington Generals host the Harlem Globetrotters yet again.

The Cubs enter the game with an 8-1 record and 69-38 run differential this season against the Pirates. The lone loss occurred last Saturday at Wrigley Field, when these same two pitchers hooked up, and Zambrano, who has been so stellar in the first couple months of the campaign, went completely mental. Neither pitcher figured in the final decision, a 7-6 Pittsburgh win.

Tonight, Fukudome gets the night off, DeRosa moves to right, and Cedeño, who has hit Duke well (8-for-21), gets a start and gets to hit in front of DeRosa, who can't seem to hit at all on the road this year (11-for-62, .172, 530 OPS).

Alfonso Soriano, who cooled off against the Astros (5 K's in 8 AB) following that torrid homestand, is 10-for-18 with 2 HR lifetime against Duke. On the flipside, the Pirates' Jason Bay is 12-for-36 with 5 HR lifetime against Zambrano.

This will be Zambrano's first start since reports emerged that he was dealing with a sore shoulder and that the Cubs medical staff was on high alert. Zambrano and Lou Piniella denied the reports flatly, uncategorically, and apparently with great gusto.

As they did last weekend, the Bucs will throw three lefties at the Cubs
in this series. Lou's crew is 10-5 this season against southpaws, 18-14
vs. righties.

The Cubs enter this series with a one-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central and holding down the top spot in Baseball Prospectus's Hit List Power Rankings, where the team is sized up this way:

The Cubs' lead atop the NL Central tightens up as they drop a series to the Astros, but both PECOTA (BP's statistical projection system) and their run differential suggest there's little reason to panic.
The offense is cranking out 5.7 runs per game, tops in the majors, and
they're getting above-average production at every position except
center field, with five positions putting up a .400 OBP or above. Alfonso Soriano
isn't among that quintet, but his 21-for-44 performance, including
seven homers in six games, is a big reason for the team's recent 9-2


this year's schedule is one of the worst ever as far as spacing/variety goes.

love beating up on PIT, but it just seems so empty/hollow to be in 1st with almost 1/3rd of your wins getting you to 1st is vs. 1 team you've played 9 times...12 games with PIT in april/

Let's hope that when we no longer are afforded the luxury of playing the Pirates every third series that we remain on top of the central division.

Our performance against the Astros was less than awesome.

Len just said: The Cubs are the only team in MLB that hasn't lost 3 in a row.

I do not want to be overconfident this early in the season. I also recognize crunch's and Jordan's point re: the way the never-ending Pirates saga contributes to the above fact.

But still: Wow!

Heh--don't mean to be a party pooper, but if I recall the '84 Cubs didn't lose three in a row all year...until, well, they lost three in a row to the Padres in a rather important series in October.

Anybody else get the sense that Reed Johnson wants to be the starting CF?

Wow -- 9 RBI by 7-8-9 in the lineup.

Are you trying to imply that Reed Johnson has actually been a productive member of the offense or something?

if I recall the '84 Cubs didn't lose three in a row all year...until, well, they lost three in a row to the Padres

1984 Cubs lost three in a row to the Reds, May 25-27; 4 in a row to the Phillies June 14-17; 4 in a row to the Astros and Reds August 13-17; and 5 in a row to the Mets, Pirates, and Cardinals Sept. 16-21.

Like I said, not trying to be giddy here, and the stat about not losing 3 in a row probably doesn't mean that much in the final analysis. But it was nice to hear.

Rats. Bad information there, sorry.;_ylt=AnEfAvYshRaS...

I never knew these "bag of balls" trades actually happened.

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  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 9 hours 34 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 9 hours 54 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 9 hours 56 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 10 hours 45 sec ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 10 hours 5 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 10 hours 7 min ago view
  • it's been a while since joe's over-managed a's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.

    crunch 10 hours 52 min ago view
  • Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.

    John Beasley 13 hours 8 min ago view
  • barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.

    crunch 13 hours 31 min ago view
  • Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?

    Brick 13 hours 39 min ago view
  • "An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."

    crunch 14 hours 40 min ago view
  • rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.

    Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.

    In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)

    Rob G. 15 hours 55 min ago view
  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 16 hours 39 min ago view