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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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 5 hours 52 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 8 hours 50 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 9 hours 2 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 9 hours 11 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 9 hours 16 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 9 hours 35 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 10 hours 11 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 10 hours 29 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 10 hours 30 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 10 hours 48 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 10 hours 56 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 11 hours 51 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 12 hours 9 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 12 hours 13 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 13 hours 23 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 14 hours 2 min ago view