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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Sunday 8/19, 7:05 CT

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There are quite a few storylines that ESPN could use tonight; among them:

  • Carlos Zambrano's contract extension, signed on Friday
  • The NL Central division race
  • What Lou Piniella has done bringing a 96-loss team from last year into first place in late August
Instead, we'll probably get more blather about whatever the Red Sox and Yankees and Barry Bonds have done today, and we should start a pool as to how many times Joe Morgan will say something negative about either this year's Cubs or Ryne Sandberg, or give out misinformation about Cub history or the area around the ballpark.

In the meantime, stay tuned to BCB for real discussion of where the Cubs are today, and where they're going.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Kip Wells
K. Wells
Cardinals
14-9 W-L 6-13
3.86 ERA 5.24
139 SO 98
77 BB 61
20 HR 14
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs
I hate matchups like this, because they appear at first glance to be highly leveraged in favor of the Cubs. Wells' record is awful this year, although he is 2-0, 2.37 in three starts so far in August. He hasn't beaten the Cubs since September 28, 2003, the day after the Cubs clinched the NL Central. Jacque Jones (.450/.560/.800, 9-for-20, 2 HR), Aramis Ramirez (.412/.444/.647. 7-for-17), Daryle Ward (.385/.385/.769, 5-for-13, 2 doubles, 1 HR), and even Z (2-for-5, 1 double) have hit Wells hard.

Meanwhile, in the last two and a half years, Z has eaten the Cardinals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks -- 6-0, 1.52 in nine starts since Opening Day 2005. And although he denied it at times, it was clear that the negotiations for his new deal were affecting his play, particularly in his last two starts. OK, Z, you've got five, maybe six, years of security. This ought to be your best start of the year.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast for tonight is not encouraging:

Tonight: Periods of rain and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 69. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Here is today's Mediacenter link, for games being played this afternoon.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.