Game 152 Thread / Cardinals @ Cubs
|SP||Adam Wainwright||SP||Carlos Zambrano|
|9-3, 3.20, 84 K, 26 BB, 121 IP||14-5, 3.41, 127 K, 65 BB, 182.1 IP|
|CF||*Skip Schumaker||LF||Alfonso Soriano|
|LF||Ryan Ludwick||SS||Ryan Theriot|
|1B||Albert Pujols||1B||Derrek Lee|
|2B||Felipe Lopez||3B||Aramis Ramirez|
|3B||Troy Glaus||CF||*Jim Edmonds|
|RF||*Adam Kennedy||RF||Mark DeRosa|
|SS||*Aaron Miles||2B||*Mike Fontenot|
|P||Adam Wainwright||C||Henry Blanco|
|C||Jason Larue||P||#Carlos Zambrano|
In his post-game press conference Thursday, a giggly Lou Piniella implied he was planning to go out last night to tie one on in celebration of the spectacular comeback victory. (I believe the exact quote was, "This is going to be a bad night for me.") It's a relief then, looking at today's lineup, to see Lou didn't stumble into the lockerroom still drunk and blindly pencil Koyie Hill into the leadoff spot as his second baseman or give a spot start to Michael Wuertz.
Geovany Soto gets the day off owing to irritation of a joint in his left hand. He is listed as day-to-day.
Our man Zambrano makes his first start since last Sunday's no-no at Milwaukee. I took a look at the last ten National Leaguers to throw complete game no-hitters before Zambrano to see how they fared in their very next outing.
First of all, the ten pitchers constitute a fairly motley crew, with luminaries like Randy Johnson, A.J. Burnett, and Kevin Brown mixed in with much lesser lights like Bud Smith and Jose Jimenez. In other words, the ten are hardly are a perfect list of comparables for Zambrano.
Anyway, in their first, post-no-hitter starts, these pitchers averaged a little over 6 IP, with about 6 hits and 3 ER allowed, for a cumulative ERA of 4.18. Combined they won 5, lost 3, and had a couple of ND's. Also, these 10 NL pitchers, who averaged 112 pitches in their respective no-hit games, averaged about 104 pitches in their first games following.
I'm not sure how instructive any of this is—as I said, it's not a great list of comps for Zambrano. What's more I don't know that any of these pitchers was fresh off a bout with rotator cuff tendinitis, which raises what is probably the most important aspect of this afternoon's game as it relates to the Cubs' World Series-winning prospects: gauging how well Zambrano has bounced back after a 110-pitch start.
One other thing to keep your eye on in this series: whether or not Tony LaRussa, who strikes me as being insane, decides to exact "revenge" on the Cubs and Ted Lilly, Saturday's scheduled starter, for Lilly's clean takedown of Cards catcher Yadier Molina last week in St. Louis. (I put revenge in quotes because I don't personally understand why a completely fair home plate collision would beg for some sort of vengeance, but I believe in TLR's world, it just will.)