The Return of Z: Cubs (24-29) @ Pirates (22-31)

UPDATE: Wednesday night's game was rained out and will be made up this coming Monday at 11:35am, Chicago time. According to the Tribune's Paul Sullivan, Lou Piniella has yet to determine if Carlos Zambrano will start on Friday, when the Cubs open a three-game series in Houston.

 


From starter to set-up guy to long relief man to who-knows-what and finally, back to starter, Carlos Zambrano's strange season takes its next turn tonight at PNC Park. Zambrano will be making his first start since April 20th, when he threw 119 pitches and gave up two runs over six innings in a 4-0 loss to the Mets. Lou Piniella said he will limit Zambrano's workload tonight to 70 pitches or so. Can't help but wonder if that will get us through the second or third inning...

 

Do 24-29 teams get to play "must games"? I don't think so, but given how dismal the first 53 games have been, this would seem to be a great opportunity for a watershed moment.

Lots of familiar names back in the Cub lineup. Curiously Lou Piniella has one of our most potent hitters batting ninth.

Cubs vs. Zach Duke (3-5, 5.09; all-time vs. Cubs, 4-8, 3.67) 
Theriot 4, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Nady 9, Ramirez 5, Soriano 7, Soto 2, Castro 6, Zambrano 1 

Pirates vs. Carlos Zambrano (1-3, 6.12; all-time vs. Pirates, 11-8, 4.16)
McCutchen 8, Walker 4, Milledge 7, Jones 3, Church 9, Doumit 2, LaRoche 5, Cedeno 6, Duke 1

Comments

My Prediction - 3 IP 4 ER 7 H 3 BB - 85 pitches

MLB.COM has it

Theriot, BAKER 9, Byrd, Nady 3, Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, Castro, Z

Lee late scratch.. hamstring.

rain delay as well

But then who will bat cleanup???????????????

I shoot anyone who says Ramirez.

But then who will bat cleanup???????????????
---
Z

I'd be okay with that right now. Unless the Cubs trade Lee, they really don't have much opportunity to play Nady anyway. They ought to get what they can for him (again, unless they are trading Lee and think they need Nady to play 1st, and even then they should pull the trigger if it's a decent return).

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

other teams expecting Cubs to start selling after this road trip

yow...bit early for that.

Paul Sullivan posts that the game is delayed because of rain, thunder and 60 mph winds

http://twitpic.com/1tejuo

that little guy just might get taken by a gust and dumped in the river (and he'd find a way to blame Milton Bradley)

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  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 53 min 22 sec ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 36 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 5 hours 18 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 10 hours 4 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 10 hours 5 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 19 hours 46 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 22 hours 44 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 22 hours 56 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 23 hours 5 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 23 hours 10 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 23 hours 29 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 1 day 5 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 1 day 22 min ago view