Open Thread: Cubs vs. White Sox, Friday 6/22, 3:05 CT

If you have not yet seen it, I commend you to this article in today's Tribune about Carlos Zambrano. It gives great insight into why and how Z has become the man and ballplayer he is, and also gives a hint that he may, at last, be learning how to channel his passion and not let it get the best of him -- thanks to his children:

What maybe drove it home the hardest though, Zambrano said, was the night of his brawl with now former Cub Michael Barrett. Arriving home from the park, the day of his 26th birthday, Zambrano found the second of his three daughters—Carlis, 6, Catherine, 4, and Carla, 2—visibly upset.

"I didn't know what to say to her," he said. "Then [Carlis] says 'Daddy, why do you fight?' I feel so bad. I say 'Things happen sometimes.' I told her, 'You shouldn't have watched that game.' Then I told her, 'You see your mom and dad fighting, but the good thing about it is when they come together and they apologize and everything clears up.' "

"He promised them," Ismary said," that it wouldn't happen again."

Ismary is Z's wife. Maybe, at last, Z has grown up.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Mark Buehrle
M. Buehrle
White Sox
7-6 W-L 4-3
4.53 ERA 3.45
74 SO 56
43 BB 17
15 HR 11
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs
Z sure looked "grown-up" in his last start, in which he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, and suffered a hard-luck loss when Russell Branyan broke it up with a home run. In his last five starts he is only 3-2, but with a 2.32 ERA and 31 K in 36.1 IP. He is 4-2, but with a 4.94 ERA, in 10 career games (8 starts) vs. the White Sox.

Mark Buehrle, who has only seven decisions in 13 starts this year, is 3-3, 5.43 in his career against the Cubs -- and that includes this ten-run pounding the Cubs put on him at Wrigley Field last July 2. It is the only interleague loss he has suffered in his last 11 interleague decisions. Once again, Jacque Jones needs to be anchored to the bench today, as he is 1-for-27 lifetime vs. Buehrle with 12 strikeouts.

Note: Aramis Ramirez has been activated for today's game, likely to DH vs. the left-handed Buehrle, and Sean Gallagher has been returned to the minors. Thus the Cubs will go with 11 pitchers for a while, at least through the weekend, while playing at the Cell, where pinch-hitters for pitchers are not necessary.

If you turn on WGN today, you'll get Len and Bob. CSN has the Sox announcers. Here is the Mediacenter for today. You're all set!

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

And, please visit our friends at South Side Sox for the Sox fan perspective.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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