Game Two: Cubs (0-1) vs. Pirates (1-0)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Zambrano (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Paul Maholm (0-0, -.–/-.–)
Q’s crew will try to even their record this afternoon behind Carlos Zambrano. Big Z had a tremendous end to a rough season and followed up his second half with a solid spring. In order for the Cubs to contend in the Central, they will need Carlos Zambrano perform like he did prior to August of 2008.
Mike Quade will run out his left-handed lineup this afternoon. Jeff Baker is expected to hit in the leadoff spot with Geovany Soto moving up to the fifth-hole. Will Reed Johnson make the start in right or will Quade insert Tyler Colvin in the eighth spot against the southpaw?
After he returned from suspension, Z was 8-0 in the second half with a 1.58 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 14 games, 11 starts. Z held teams to a .195 average and served up only one dinger in 74 innings.
Zambrano has struggled in recent seasons against the Pirates. He was 1-1 in three games, one start, last year with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP … for his career, 12-8 in 30 games, 26 starts, with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano
- Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-3 with a double
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-6
- Ryan Doumit – 8-for-18 with 3 doubles and 6 walks
- Jason Jaramillo – 0-for-6
- Garrett Jones – 4-for-9 with a home run and a walk
- Paul Maholm – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Andrew McCutchen – 5-for-7 with a double, a triple and 4 walks
- Lyle Overbay – 4-for-21 with 2 walks
- Steve Pearce – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Jose Tabata – 0-for-3
- Neil Walker – 1-for-6
Paul Maholm is coming off a rough 2010 campaign. The very talented lefty posted a 9-15 record in 32 starts with a 5.10 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP, teams hit a robust .303 against him.
Three of Maholm’s nine wins came against the Cubs and both of his road wins (2-6 in 15 starts away from PNC with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP) came at Wrigley Field… fitting stats considering how poorly the Cubs have played against the pesky Pirates since the end of the 2009 season.
Maholm has the stuff to be a middle of the rotation starter but has yet to put it all together.
Today will be Maholm’s 14th career start against the Cubs. He is 7-2 with a 6.42 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP (3-1 in four starts last season with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP, 5-2 in nine career starts at Wrigley with a 7.26 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP). The Cubs have proven they can hit him, and score runs … they just have trouble putting the games away. Sound familiar?
Cubs Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Jeff Baker – 6-for-11 with 3 doubles
- Marlon Byrd – 3-for-12 with a double and a walk
- Starlin Castro – 4-for-8 with 2 doubles
- Tyler Colvin – 1-for-6
- Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-2
- Reed Johnson – 7-for-11 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-30 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-28 with 2 doubles, 4 home runs and 4 walks
- Geovany Soto – 6-for-15 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-4
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