Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Saturday 9/23, 5:10 CT

Remember this? In early 1999, the Cubs, having brought back most of the 1998 Wild Card winning team, thought they were still contenders.

But one of those guys, in particular, wasn't what he was in '98. Rod Beck was hurt, and didn't tell anyone -- even though he'd been hurt since the previous off-season, and could have had surgery then, and been ready for Opening Day. Toughing it out instead, he was blowing games left and right, until the Cubs put him on the DL and decided they needed a new closer.

The "best available guy" was 38-year-old Rick Aguilera. So the Cubs shipped one of their best prospects to the Twins for him.

No, that wasn't Kyle Lohse -- he was the throw-in. The guy the Cubs didn't really want to part with was Jason Ryan, who was their #1 pitching prospect of the day. He washed out quickly -- I'm not quite sure why; even today he's only 30 (must have been arm trouble of some sort). Lohse worked his way up through the Twins' system to become a serviceable 4th or 5th starter.

I tell you all this today as a rainy-day story, because if you look here, it doesn't seem very likely there will be baseball tonight in Cincinnati.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Kyle Lohse
K. Lohse
Reds
15-6 W-L 4-9
3.38 ERA 5.81
194 SO 89
108 BB 40
19 HR 13
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs
Again, courtesy of Bruce Miles, the lineups (and the Reds' is quite different from last night's):

Tonight's Starting Lineups
Cubs Reds
Pierre, cf Wise, cf
Theriot, 2b Hatteberg, 1b
Ramirez, 3b Encarnacion, 3b
Murton, lf Dunn, lf
Pagan, rf Valentin, c
Mabry, 1b Hollandsworth, rf
Blanco, c Phillips, ss
Cedeno, ss Olmedo, 2b
Zambrano, p Lohse, p

Z is attempting to tie for the league lead in wins and reclaim the lead in K's. If there's a doubleheader tomorrow, obviously, he'll pitch then, and then likely will make his final 2006 start at home either on Friday or Saturday against the Rockies.

Lohse was acquired in the Wayne Krivsky Pick-Up-Any-Warm-Body-Who-Pitches frenzy in July. He's actually thrown fairly well for the Reds -- the numbers above are his combined totals, which include a 7.07 ERA for his time in Minnesota. For the Reds he's 2-4, but with a 4.33 ERA and 15 walks and 43 strikeouts in 54 innings. He has never faced the Cubs.

MLB.com Cubs Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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