Game Forty-Three: Cubs (26-16) vs. Pirates (20-22)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (6-1, 2.03/1.11) vs. Zach Duke (2-2, 4.04/1.61)
The Cubs will try to keep the streak going today against the Pirates behind the ace of Lou Piniella’s staff. Carlos Zambrano will make his first start of the season against the Bucs while the Cubs offense will see a familiar face in Zach Duke. Carlos Zambrano will make his second appearance of the series today after pinch-hitting for Sean Gallagher in the 6th inning on Friday. Zambrano is coming off a solid win against the Padres last Tuesday and will look to post his 6th win in a row. Big Z has pitched beyond expectations so far this season and will look to keep it going against an offense he’s struggled with in recent years.
Zambrano has been throwing a lot of strikes this year, which is the big difference in his performance. Z has walked only 16 batters in 62 innings this season with 43 strikeouts. While Zambrano’s strikeout total is down, he is pitching to contact and going deeper in games….Zambrano is averaging just under 7 innings per start. Zambrano is 4-0 in 6 starts at Wrigley this year with a 1.98 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.
Carlos Zambrano needs two strikeouts to pass Larry Corcoran (1,086) for 9th on the Cubs’ All-Time strikeout list.
Zambrano is 9-6 in 20 career games, 18 starts, against the Pirates with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP….last year, 2-2 in 4 starts with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
- Jason Bay – 12-for-34 with 4 doubles, 5 home runs and 7 walks
- Adam LaRoche – 3-for-19
- Nate McLouth – 3-for-10 with a double
- Xavier Nady – 8-for-20 with 5 doubles
- Freddy Sanchez – 4-for-26
The Cubs will get their third look of the season at Zach Duke. Duke is coming off back-to-back wins against the Giants and Braves. He has allowed only 3 earned runs on 13 hits in his last 13 1/3 innings with 8 walks and 6 strikeouts….all 3 runs were scored by the Giants. Duke has been very good this season with the exception of a 3-game stretch between April 14th and April 25th. The Cubs finally put up runs against Duke on April 20th….they chased the talented southpaw in the 5th inning after he allowed 5 runs on 8 hits in a 13-6 loss to the Cubs.
Lou Piniella’s offense was very aggressive on Friday against Tom Gorzelanny, it was the right call and a good game plan. But today the Cubs must return to their newfound patient ways….in 49 innings this season (8 starts), Duke has walked 18 to go along with only 16 strikeouts. Duke is 0-1 in 4 starts on the road this year with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP….7 walks and 2 strikeouts.
Duke is 4-3 in 10 career starts against the Cubs with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP….this year, 0-1 in 2 starts with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP while the Cubs have hit .356 against him.
- Ronny Cedeno – 8-for-20
- Mark DeRosa – 2-for-12
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-8 with 2 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-3
- Reed Johnson – 3-for-5 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 9-for-26 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 9-for-26 with 6 doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-15 with a double and a home run
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-7
- Ryan Theriot – 5-for-15 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….