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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  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 14 min 52 sec ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 25 min 46 sec ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 32 min 26 sec ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 35 min 48 sec ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 46 min 58 sec ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 52 min 42 sec ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 4 hours 12 sec ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 6 hours 32 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 7 hours 5 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 7 hours 7 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 9 hours 4 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 11 hours 23 min ago view
  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 12 hours 19 min ago view
  • The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.

    That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.

    VirginiaPhil 13 hours 12 min ago view