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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Brewers, Monday 4/23, 7:05 CT

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"I don't say that the Milwaukee Brewers are nothing, but I think the offense of the Cincinnati Reds (is) better. There's no making mistakes when pitching against Cincinnati. When you make a mistake against them, you pay for it. When you make a mistake against Milwaukee, sometimes they miss it and that's good." -- Carlos Zambrano
Well, Z, think that was a smart thing to say? Especially since the Brewers' Bill Hall responded this way:
"It (ticks) us off a little bit. We'll see what happens the next time we face him."
I'm guessing "ticks" wasn't the actual word Hall used, either.

Think the Brewers will be out to beat you badly, perhaps more so than against any other pitcher they've faced this year? (And they've done pretty well against those other pitchers, too -- did you notice, Z, that Milwaukee's in first place?)

Take my advice, Carlos. Stick to your email routine. It's safer. Well, except when your elbow gets sore from too much typing.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Claudio Vargas
C. Vargas
Brewers
1-2 W-L 1-0
7.77 ERA 3.46
16 SO 22
16 BB 2
6 HR 2
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs
The Cubs faced Vargas twice in spring training, scoring two earned runs in three innings the first time, and two unearned runs in three innings the second time, winning both games. Jason Marquis was the opponent then; he also shows up as the Cub with the most career hits off Vargas (four; two singles and two doubles). Maybe Marquis can pinch-hit tonight; really, at this point, if Marquis could play SS, I'd put him out there on days he wasn't pitching. Other Cubs who have hit Vargas include Cliff Floyd (3-for-10, 2 doubles and a HR), Jacque Jones (3-for-9, 2 HR), Aramis Ramirez (4-for-10, .400) and, frighteningly, Cesar Izturis (4-for-12, 2 doubles and a triple). In theory, then, this should be a good offensive night for the Cubs.

And no, that's not a misprint in the pitcher box. Vargas really does have only two walks and 22 K's.

Z takes his Boeing ERA (7.77), actually down slightly from the 7.88 it showed before his last start, and faces a club that has actually hit him pretty well over his career. Watch out in particular for Prince Fielder (.385/.500/.615 in 13 career at-bats vs. Z) tonight.

Tonight's telecast is one of the eight this year that will be aired in the Chicago market on WCIU. Thus, it's only available to people who are in the Chicago area, or who get FSN North in Wisconsin, or if you have Extra Innings (which will carry the FSN North feed), or at the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

And, for the Brewers fan point of view (and they seem to hate us as much as the Reds fans do), check out Brew Crew Ball.

Discuss amongst yourselves.