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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  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 9 hours 17 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 9 hours 22 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 9 hours 33 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 9 hours 44 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 10 hours 10 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 10 hours 50 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 12 hours 2 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 12 hours 19 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 12 hours 23 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 13 hours 8 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 17 hours 59 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 19 hours 12 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 19 hours 16 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 20 hours 35 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 3 hours ago view