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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Pirates, Friday 9/21, 1:20 CT

The Cubs, as you know, picked up a half game in the standings last night while resting at home when the Braves beat the Brewers 3-1. Now, Milwaukee must face Tim Hudson and John Smoltz today and tomorrow, while the Cubs are playing a team that they should be beating, but haven't so far this year (5-7 vs. Pittsburgh).

The time for talk is over. Just win.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Marquis
J. Marquis
vs. Paul Maholm
P. Maholm
12-8 W-L 10-15
4.07 ERA 4.76
102 SO 102
71 BB 49
22 HR 20
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs
Jason Marquis threw his best game of the year against the Pirates on May 9 at Wrigley Field -- a three-hit shutout. He's 8-3, 4.01 in 16 starts at home this season, and the Cubs are 8-2 in his starts (not his record, the club record in games he's started, including one road game I attended) since I acquired my Marquis jersey, which I'll be wearing again today.

None of the Pirates hits him particularly well except for Jason Bay, who is .382/.450/.912 (13-for-34, 4 doubles, a triple, 4 HR).

Paul Maholm got pounded by the Astros in his last start on September 16, allowing ten earned runs in 2.2 innings. Maybe we could have the Cubs dress up in Astros uniforms; they have never beaten Maholm. He's 4-0 lifetime vs. the Cubs, although with a 4.94 ERA. Aramis Ramirez (4-for-11, a HR) and Alfonso Soriano (3-for-8, a HR) are the only Cubs who have had any decent success against Maholm.

It's going to be summerlike today:

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. South southwest wind between 10 and 15 mph.
Finally, have a little fun with Lou!

Today's game is cable-only in the Pittsburgh and Chicago areas; it's also on the EI list, and at today's Mediacenter link. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Brewers/Braves game (6:05 CT start, TV on ESPN - I'll put this link in today's recap later this afternoon as well)

Discuss amongst yourselves.