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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Pirates, Saturday 5/17, 12:05 CT

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Pittsburgh Pirates
@ Chicago Cubs

Saturday, May 17, 2008, 12:05 PM CDT
Wrigley Field

Zach Duke vs Carlos Zambrano

Complete Coverage >


  • Saturday morning notes: The Cubs are ten games over .500, which matches their high from 2007 (83-73). The last time the Cubs were more than ten games over .500 was the last day of the 2004 season.
  • Twenty-eight years ago today, the Cubs and Phillies played the second-highest scoring game in modern major league history, the famous 23-22 game won by the Phillies on a day the wind was blowing out at about 25 MPH. The wind will be blowing out to RF today. Just sayin'.
  • Daryle Ward might go to the DL. Or not. It appears aches and pains are just part of Ward's normal day-to-day experience and he may have been hurting when he hit the game-winning double on Sunday. So don't get those Micah Hoffpauir jerseys ordered yet.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. may indeed be headed back to Seattle to finish his career. Does that mean the Reds are giving up on the season already?
  • Lou on Carlos Zambrano's hitting; he thinks Z will want to participate in the HR-hitting contest at the Hall of Fame game (and why not?).
  • Lou says the Cubs need to scout the opposition's pitchers, because the bottom of the lineups are hitting too well against us. Also, that article says Lou is going to start giving the starters more rest, including Geovany Soto and Derrek Lee.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C.
Zambrano

Cubs
vs. Zach Duke
Z.
Duke

Pirates
6-1 W-L 2-2
2.03 ERA 4.04
43 SO 16
16 BB 18
4 HR 1
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Carlos Zambrano 6-1 9 9 0 0 0 0 62.0 53 14 14 4 16 43 2.03 1.11


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Zach Duke 2-2 8 8 0 0 0 0 49.0 61 24 22 1 18 16 4.04 1.61

Zach Duke has already faced the Cubs twice this year, both times against Ryan Dempster. He pitched well in Pittsburgh, but the Cubs won that game in 15 innings. At Wrigley Fieldon April 20, the Cubs beat up on him and three other Pirate pitchers. Duke has had control problems this year, walking 18 and striking out only 16. Alfonso Soriano, hot right now, is 7-for-15 lifetime vs. Duke. Aramis Ramirez is 9-for-26 with 7 XBH (6 doubles, a HR). The wind is supposed to be blowing out again today.

Jason Bay has hit 5 HR in his career off Z in 34 AB (12-for-34, .353/.463/.912), and Xavier Nady is 8-for-20 with five doubles. Other than that, he's handled the current Pittsburgh roster pretty well. Z seems a man on a mission and has thrown consistently well all season. He needs a new picture, though.

Today's game is on cable in the Chicago & Pittsburgh markets. It'll have the usual EI blackouts due to Fox-TV's Saturday rules. For more see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Today's overflow comment thread will post at 1:30 pm CT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.