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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Pirates, Saturday 9/3

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The Cubs will attempt to win their second in a row this afternoon (morning in Chicago: 11:35 CT starting time, and the game WILL be available to those of you with MLB Extra Innings).

Andrew Z., a Cubs fan from Chicago, has set up a website soliciting donations to 'buy the Cubs a championship'.

If only it were that simple. Spending money has never been the problem -- it's spending money wisely. Two of the last three World Champions (the 2002 Angels and 2003 Marlins) have had only middle-of-the-pack payrolls.

I wonder how much money, if any, Andrew has raised.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Dave Williams
D. Williams
Pirates
11-5 W-L 10-10
3.04 ERA 4.21
165 SO 87
71 BB 56
14 HR 20

Z pitched well again last Sunday against the Marlins and has been the Cubs' most consistent starter all season.

Williams is a lefty, so maybe we'll see Matt Murton start today. Williams has a decent 3.94 lifetime ERA vs. the Cubs, but is only 1-4 in eight lifetime starts.

Finally, there are signs that perhaps, just perhaps, Dusty Baker gets it:

"We have to cut these walks down," Baker said. "We have to hold runners a little better. We have to increase our on-base percentage via walks. I'm not a 'walk' man per se, to go up there looking for walks. But at the same time, if it's 3-1 and you're swinging at something in the dirt or over your head when you should've walked. Also big is situational hitting, driving runners in. There's a few things we can work on."
(Emphasis added by me)

If he really means this, maybe the 2006 team can be constructed to win.

Discuss amongst yourselves.