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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Friday 9/15, 1:20 CT

Fresh off his spectacular pinch-running appearance on Tuesday night, Juan Mateo takes to the mound this afternoon in a game that has important implications for the Reds -- who are in danger of falling out of the wild-card race.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Juan Mateo
J. Mateo
vs. Bronson Arroyo
B. Arroyo
1-3 W-L 13-9
4.75 ERA 3.29
27 SO 165
13 BB 52
4 HR 29
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs
Bronson Arroyo has been a one-man wrecking crew against the Cubs this year, going 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA, and hitting two home runs to boot. Since Glendon Rusch, the victim of those HR, is out for the year, perhaps Mateo can at least keep Arroyo in the park.

Meanwhile, Bruce Miles reports that both Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano hope to play again before the end of this year.

Personally, I think in Barrett's case, that'd be risking further injury and would be pointless. Zambrano could still have a shot at the Cy Young Award, and his injury was far less serious than Barrett's. At most, he'd get only two more starts and would have to win both of them, and hope that Brad Penny and Brandon Webb, the only NL pitchers with more wins than Z, would not win for the rest of the year. Penny, with an ERA over 4, isn't a great choice, and if Z could wind up 16-6 and lead the league in strikeouts (he's only five behind the current leader, Aaron Harang, despite missing two starts), he'd have a shot. Cubs Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.