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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Nationals, Saturday 5/5, 12:05 CT

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I'm going to start today's game thread by talking about tomorrow's game. Count me as baffled by the decision to recall Angel Guzman to start Sunday -- and beyond:

[Lou] Piniella said the decision has not yet been made, but he does know the fifth starter will go Sunday at Wrigley Field, May 12 in Philadelphia and May 17 in New York.

And he expects the pitcher all three times to be Guzman.

The obvious candidates to be removed from the roster are Ronny Cedeno and Will Ohman. But if either of those players is removed, that still leaves the four-headed OF monster of Felix Pie, Jacque Jones, Cliff Floyd and Matt Murton, with only two positions available. While I'd love to see Pie stay, if he's not going to play every day in Chicago, he needs to get everyday AB at Iowa. He'll be back soon enough.

The puzzling thing is why the Cubs are forcing the issue with Guzman now, when the first time they'll actually need that fifth starter is next Saturday in Philadelphia.

Now, on to today's game, which should be available to many of you who have Extra Innings, since it is not within the Fox-TV late-afternoon blackout period.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Hill
R. Hill
Cubs
vs. John Patterson
J. Patterson
Nationals
3-1 W-L 1-4
1.77 ERA 6.44
29 SO 14
11 BB 19
3 HR 3
vs. Was -- vs. Cubs
This again looks like a mismatch, although Patterson was at one time a pretty good prospect for the Diamondbacks. After a decent year in 2005, he had surgery on his forearm last season and may still not be back to 100%.

Rich Hill continues his solid performances. Since his recall last July 27, he is 7-4 in 18 games (17 starts), covering 115.2 innings in which he's allowed 80 hits, 14 HR, 35 walks (0.99 WHIP), struck out 108, and had an ERA of 2.57.

Just keep it up. I'm happy to have been wrong about Rich Hill.

MLB.com Mediacenter

MLB.com Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.