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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, Saturday 7/21, 12:05 CT

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Despite the early start to today's game, I expect thousands of people to be lined up at Wrigley Field well before the gates open this morning.

Why is this? Are people that excited about the team's great play over the last few weeks?

Well, maybe. But more likely, people will be arriving early because the first 10,000 fans will be given a Carlos Zambrano bobblehead. Carlos, for his part, will be watching the game from the dugout, as he's not scheduled to throw again till Tuesday night at St. Louis.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Hill
R. Hill
Cubs
vs. Micah Owings
M. Owings
D'backs
6-6 W-L 5-5
3.70 ERA 4.92
99 SO 56
34 BB 32
19 HR 11
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs
Rich Hill turned his season around in his last start, an excellent 8 IP, 2 ER performance against the Giants on Monday. Of his success Monday, Hill said:
"What I did was get back to keeping things simple and getting back to a game plan of not trying to think too much and keeping the game plan simple."
Sounds simple enough to me.

He beat Arizona last August 1, but had two earlier starts (May 4, 2006 and July 30, 2005), which weren't as good, but that was the "old" Rich Hill. Against current Diamondbacks he's done pretty well; Eric Byrnes is 2-for-7 with a HR vs. Hill.

Micah Owings, one of the D'backs' hottest pitching prospects before the season began, is having a tough time. He hasn't won since June 20 and is 0-4, 7.84 since then. He is the third player in major league history named "Micah", after Micah Franklin, who played 17 games for the 1997 Cardinals, and Micah Bowie, a former Cub who's still pitching for the Nationals.

This will be Owings' first career start vs. the Cubs.

Since this game is early, not in the Fox-exclusive 2:55 time slot, it's nationally available on WGN, on 3TV in Phoenix, and at the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.