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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Braves, Wednesday 4/18, 6:35 CT

The oddest road trip of the year begins tonight in Atlanta, and ends tomorrow night in Atlanta. Everyone in the National League is playing a pair of two-game series this week, largely due to the demands of the interleague schedule (there were times when that schedule forced many more two-game series, which everyone hates; this is MLB's attempt to keep them to a minimum). The worst thing about it is that tomorrow's game is a night game, and the Cubs have to be back in Chicago for an afternoon game against the Cardinals on Friday. I can't imagine why MLB didn't try to lean on the Braves to schedule tomorrow's game during the day.

But, they didn't. And so Carlos Zambrano and Rich Hill will attempt to get the Cubs on the right track before a key six-game homestand against division rivals.

Odd little stat: there are only four ML teams that have had winning records in April in each of the years from 2003-2006. One of them is the Cubs. The others are the winners of the last three World Series, the Red Sox, White Sox and Cardinals. For whatever it's worth.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
vs. Kyle Davies
K. Davies
1-2 W-L 0-0
7.88 ERA 2.70
11 SO 8
10 BB 3
4 HR 2
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs
Of all the Atlanta players, Edgar Renteria has hit Z the best -- 10-for-28 with six walks. Andruw Jones, on the other hand, has been handled quite well by Carlos: 3-for-18 (1 HR) with seven strikeouts. Lifetime in seven starts vs. the Braves, Z is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA (1-0, 0.75 in two starts at the Ted, though).

Kyle Davies had a horrendous year last year -- 3-7, 8.38 in 14 starts, with a 1.95 WHIP. (Read that again -- it's not a misprint. He was even worse than Jason Marquis, though in half the starts.) This year he's started only once, a no-decision vs. the Mets. Aramis Ramirez is 4-for-6 against him.

And the weather should be decently comfortable temperature-wise, probably in the upper 50's or lower 60's at game time.

Today's game is on CSN Plus, which is carried on CLTV in Chicago. Some Chicago-area cable systems, I know, do not carry this channel -- thus, some of you might be out of luck. Try the Mediacenter, and remember there's a free five-day trial of MLB.TV available till the end of April. Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.