Game One Hundred Thirty-Two: Cubs (54-77) vs. Pirates (51-81)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. WGN, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Carlos Zambrano (14-5, 3.31) vs. Paul Maholm (6-10, 4.82)
The Cubs look to end their current 4-game losing streak tonight and give Carlos Zambrano his 15th win of the season. Zambrano has been the only constant this season for the Cubs’ pitching staff and is a legitimate contender for this season’s Cy Young Award in the National League. Zambrano leads the NL in wins and strikeouts and is 6th in the league in ERA, all for a team with only 54 wins….amazing. The comparisons to Steve Carlton have already started and a win tonight would give him a shot at 20 for the season. The Pirates did beat Zambrano on August 4th at Wrigley and ended his winning streak. He gave up 5 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings of work, one of his worst starts on the season. He has been more “Zambrano-like” in his last 3 starts after a horrible performance against the Brewers on August 9th. Zambrano is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his last 3 games but most importantly he has walked only 3 in his last 14 innings while striking out 13.
The Cubs offense gets another shot at a lefty this season. The Cubs have struggled against lefties this season, especially ones on the Pirates’ staff. Maholm has not faced the Cubs this year and is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his career against them. Maholm has had a disappointing season, but so has the Pirates. The young southpaw is 2-1 with a 4.31 ERA in his last 5 starts. Maholm will give up the long ball; in 153 innings he has allowed 18 home runs and 4 in his last 31 1/3.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….