Game One Hundred Nine: Cubs (43-65) vs. Pirates (54-52)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.59/1.41) vs. Paul Maholm (6-10, 3.16/1.25)
It is a new day and a new month for the Chicago Cubs … will the results be any different? The Cubs ended July (9-17) with a win in St. Louis and snapped a five-game losing streak. Q’s squad opens a four-game series tonight in Pittsburgh against a Pirates team they are 3-6 against this season.
The Cubs will see a couple of very familiar faces in a new uniform tonight. The Pirates acquired Derrek Lee from the Orioles on Saturday and Ryan Ludwick at the deadline from the Padres. The Battlin’ Bucs are in the middle of the race in the central (54-52, third in the division, 4 1/2 games back of the Brewers) and view the next four days as wins they can use to move up in the standings.
The Cubs have struggled scoring runs on the trip and have managed only 24 runs in six games (11 in the last two) … and one of the big reasons is Aramis Ramirez is 1-for-21 over the last six games. Q’s impatient offense has been even more aggressive in recent days and if the Cubs do that again tonight, the results will be more of the same against Paul Maholm. The Pirates’ southpaw has dominated the Cubs in three starts this season (one run in three games, 23 1/3 innings, with two walks and 15 strikeouts).
Tonight it all begins with Carlos Zambrano … Carlos Zambrano is coming off a solid start, but a loss to the Brewers. Zack Greinke shutout the Cubs 2-0 and Zambrano took the loss after giving up both runs in the second inning (homer by Prince Fielder and a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt). After a shaky start against the Marlins back on July 16, Zambrano has put together two serviceable starts.
Z is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 6.23 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP … on the road this season, 5-3 in 11 starts with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.
Tonight will be Zambrano’s second start of the season against the Bucs. Z received a no decision against the Pirates back on April 2 at Wrigley. Z allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.
Zambrano is 12-8 in 31 career games, 27 starts, versus the Bucs with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP … at PNC Park, 7-1 in 15 games, 13 starts, with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Carlos Zambrano
- Pedro Alvarez – 2-for-6 with a double
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-8
- Garrett Jones – 5-for-12 with 2 home runs and a walk
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-8 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Ludwick – 9-for-22 with 2 home runs and 2 walks
- Paul Maholm – 1-for-7 with a walk
- Andrew McCutchen – 5-for-9 with a double, a triple and 5 walks
- Lyle Overbay – 4-for-23 with 3 walks
- Neil Walker – 2-for-9 with a double
Paul Maholm has had a good year, especially at home, but he’s not pitched as well as the Cubs have made him look. Maholm is coming off a no decision against the Braves in which he allowed only one run on nine hits in seven innings … the Pirates lost to the Braves in extra innings for the second night in a row.
Maholm has not posted a win since he beat the Cubs back on July 10 and is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Maholm is 5-5 in 12 starts at PNC this season with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
The Cubs used to have success against Maholm but could never hang on a loss on him … now they are too impatient to do anything against the lefty. Maholm owns a 9-2 mark in 16 career starts against the Cubs with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP … but this season, 2-0 in three starts with a 0.39 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Jeff Baker – 7-for-18 with 4 doubles
- Darwin Barney – 3-for-7 with a double
- Marlon Byrd – 3-for-18 with a double and a walk
- Tony Campana – 0-for-5
- Starlin Castro – 6-for-18 with 2 doubles
- Tyler Colvin – 2-for-9
- Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3 with a walk
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-5
- Reed Johnson – 8-for-13 with 3 doubles and a walk
- Carlos Pena – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-38 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-37 with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 4 walks
- Geovany Soto – 7-for-20 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Carlos Zambrano – 2-for-6 with a double
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