Open Thread: Cubs vs. Pirates, Monday 9/4, 1:20 CT

It's rematch time again -- these two faced each other last Tuesday in Pittsburgh -- for which I thank the Cubs and Pirates, not that they care, because that made editing this pitcher box much easier.

Z can tie Brad Penny for the NL lead in wins by winning today.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Paul Maholm
P. Maholm
Pirates
14-5 W-L 6-10
3.33 ERA 4.84
187 SO 103
100 BB 73
19 HR 18
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs
But that's not what I want to talk about today. Also pitching today, in Milwaukee, for the Dodgers, is Greg Maddux.

The Dodgers have a day off next Monday and the Cubs don't. That means Z will pitch, presuming they keep him on a five-man-rotation schedule, Saturday in Atlanta, and then Thursday the 14th against the Dodgers, which leads me to this speculation.

Dodgers manager Grady Little said yesterday that:

"We do know that our three main people -- [Derek] Lowe, [Greg] Maddux and [Brad] Penny -- are going to start as close to their regular turns in the rotation as possible," [Little] said. "Right now, with Billingsley out of the rotation for a week or so, [Mark] Hendrickson is one of our starters, and he'll remain in that role until we make a change."
And, since it is well-known that Maddux likes to pitch every fifth day, regardless of off-days... he'll also throw for the Dodgers on Saturday in New York, and then, presuming he stays on that five-day schedule... on the 14th at Wrigley Field.

Z vs. Maddux. Now THERE is something to look forward to! If it happens, it'll be the most-hyped Cub/Dodger pitching matchup since the celebrated Match Of The Jewish Lefthanders on September 25, 1966, the only time Ken Holtzman and Sandy Koufax started in the same game. Holtzman took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before giving up two hits and a run; the Cubs won the game 2-1, one of the highlights of that 103-loss season.

May we have another such highlight on the 14th.

Incidentally, that Dodger website link above also notes that Maddux played in his first major league game 20 years ago yesterday, September 3, 1986:

Maddux, as a member of the Cubs, made his Major League debut as a pinch-runner, entering the 17th inning of a [game] that had been suspended after 14 innings the night before at Wrigley Field. Maddux remained in the game and took the loss after allowing an 18th-inning solo homer to Houston's Billy Hatcher.

"Nolan Ryan and Jamie Moyer were the starting pitchers," recalls Maddux. "Yeah, we got darked out. Good time."

How has the game changed in the 20 years Maddux has been pitching?

"They've got lights now."

MLB.com Cubs Gameday

UPDATE [2006-9-4 10:48:59 by Al]: Scott Moore has been recalled and will be given uniform #15.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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