Game Thirty-Two: Cubs (16-15) vs. Pirates (14-18)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 5.80/1.61) vs. Paul Maholm (1-4, 5.51/1.56)
Updated – 12:32pm – Felix Pie Optioned to Triple-A Iowa – Angel Pagan Recalled
Carlos Zambrano will look to give his team their fourth consecutive series win today against the Pirates. After allowing 4 runs in the 1st inning against the Nationals, Zambrano settled down and did not allow a run in the last 5 innings he pitched. Zambrano has been more Zambrano-like of late and the Cubs need a solid performance from him today. Before his start against the Nationals, Carlos Zambrano had allowed 3 runs on 12 hits in 12 1/3 innings against the Brewers and Cardinals. His start against the Cardinals is his best so far this season….1 run on 7 hits, no walks and 2 strikeouts in 7 innings. Zambrano has to keep his emotions in tact and with the fact Michael Barrett caught all 15 innings on Tuesday and Marquis’ complete game on Wednesday, Henry Blanco should get the start behind the dish.
Zambrano is 7-4 in 14 career starts against the Pirates with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP but was 0-2 (3 starts) last year against the Bucs with a 7.53 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP. The Pirates scored 15 runs, 12 earned, on 20 hits in 14 1/3 innings with just a single home run. In his previous 9 starts before last season against the Pirates, Zambrano was 7-0 with a 2.92 ERA.
- Jason Bay – 9-27 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs and 11 RBI’s
- Chris Duffy – 3-9
- Xavier Nady – 6-13, 5 doubles and 5 RBI’s
Paul Maholm has not pitched the way the Pirates expected him to out of Spring Training. Other than a 3-hit, complete game shutout against the Astros on April 24th, Maholm has had trouble throwing strikes and has only pitched past the 6th inning once. His last outing against the Brewers lasted just 3 2/3 innings and he allowed 3 runs on 7 hits. In his last two starts combined, Maholm has allowed 9 runs on 14 hits in 7 2/3 innings with walking 5 and striking out 7. Right handers are hitting .322 this season against Maholm while lefties are hitting just .200.
Maholm is 2-0 in 3 career starts against the Cubs with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP with all 3 games being in Pittsburgh….today will be his first career start at Wrigley. Last season the Cubs scored 8 runs, 7 earned, on 10 hits in 10 innings the two times they faced Maholm (1-0).
- Henry Blanco – 2-5
- Cliff Floyd – 2-6
- Matt Murton – 2-7 with 2 RBI’s
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-6
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-3 with a home run
- Ryan Theriot – 1-3 with a double and 3 RBI’s
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….
Update - According to a report on Cubs.com, the Cubs optioned Felix Pie to Triple-A Iowa and recalled Angel Pagan to replace him on the roster. Pagan will start for the Cubs today against the Pirates in centerfield.