Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 06/02/10

Game Fifty-Four: Cubs (24-29) vs. Pirates (22-31)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WIND-AM 560, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Carlos Zambrano (1-3, 6.12/1.70) vs. Zach Duke (3-5, 5.09/1.70)

Updated 9:33pm CDT – Game has been rescheduled for Monday, June 7 – First Pitch scheduled for 11:35am CDT

Updated 9:19pm CDT – Cubs and Pirates game scheduled for Wednesday night was cancelled due to unplayable conditions. No makeup date was announced.

Updated – 6:05pm CDT – Start of Wednesday Night’s Game has been delayed 45 minutes to an hour due to rain and strong storms in the area.

Can the Chicago Cubs win a game in Pittsburgh this season? Lou Piniella’s crew plays their final game of 2010 campaign in the Steel City tonight.

Carlos Zambrano returns to the starting rotation tonight, a day after his 29th birthday. Zambrano will make his first start since April 20 … and the Cubs are in need of a win. The Zambrano Bullpen Experiment did not work but Z has taken a lot of criticism. Since Piniella announced Zambrano would return to the starting rotation he threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit.

The Cubs said Tuesday that Zambrano would be on a 90-pitch limit tonight.

Ron Santo spent Tuesday in a hospital in Pittsburgh. Santo had difficulties in the heat Monday and said he felt “listless” during the game. Santo was expected to return to Chicago Wednesday and will not be with the team during the series in Houston over the weekend.

Pat Hughes and Dave Otto can be heard on WIND-AM 560 … sister station of WGN. The Cubs allowed WGN Radio to air the Blackhawks Stanley Cup game against the Flyers … GO HAWKS!

Tonight it all starts with Big Z … and just winning a ballgame.

The last time Carlos Zambrano started a game he took the loss on April 20 in New York. Zambrano received no run support and was hung with the loss. Big Z gave up two runs on six hits in six innings with nine strikeouts and three walks.

As a starter, Zambrano is 1-2 in four games with a 7.45 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP … out of the pen, Big Z was 0-1 in 13 games with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Big Z gave up three runs on four hits in an inning of work in his last outing against the Pirates on May 14 … the big blast, a three-run homer by Garrett Jones.

Carlos Zambrano is 11-8 in 29 career games, 25 starts, versus Pittsburgh with a 4.16 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP … at PNC, 7-1 in 15 games, 13 starts, with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano

  • Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-4
  • Ryan Church – 4-for-20 with 2 doubles
  • Jeff Clement – 0-for-1
  • Bobby Crosby – 1-for-4
  • Ryan Doumit – 8-for-17 with 3 doubles and 4 walks
  • Zach Duke – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Aki Iwamura – 0-for-3 with 2 walks
  • Jason Jaramillo – 0-for-6
  • Garrett Jones – 2-for-6 with a home run and a walk
  • Andy LaRoche – 1-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 4-for-6 with a double, a triple and 2 walks
  • Lastings Milledge – 3-for-7
  • Steve Pearce – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Neil Walker – 1-for-3
  • Delwyn Young – 0-for-10 with a walk

The Cubs will face a very familiar face tonight in Zach Duke. The southpaw owned the Cubs early in his career and has continued to pitch very well against the Cubs.

Zach Duke has struggled with consistency this season. One start he’s lights out, the next he’s unhittable. Duke is coming off one of his worst starts of the season. The Braves scored seven runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings … but before his start in Atlanta, Duke held the Braves to one run on seven hits in seven innings in Pittsburgh.

The very talented southpaw is 1-2 in six home starts this season with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP … in his last six games, 1-3 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.

Duke is 4-8 in 17 career starts versus the Cubs with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP … last year, 0-3 in four starts with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Zach Duke

  • Jeff Baker – 7-for-12 with 2 home runs
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-7
  • Mike Fontenot – 1-for-1
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Derrek Lee – 13-for-46 with 2 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
  • Xavier Nady – 2-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 13-for-39 with 6 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 15-for-36 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 7-for-22 with 3 doubles and 4 walks
  • Ryan Theriot – 14-for-39 with 3 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Carlos Zambrano – 3-for-6

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Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth