In five games between the Cubs and Pirates in Pittsburgh so far this year, the teams have played 59 innings -- that's an average of almost twelve per game. Enough of that. Time to win in nine, and then say goodbye to the Pirates for more than two months; their next meeting after today will be on August 1.
- Nice article about Rick Sutcliffe and his current battle with colon cancer. Thanks to my friend Craig in Kansas City for the link.
- Sean Marshall pulled a hamstring in his last start. He'll miss at least 1, maybe 2 starts. So much for Lou's "get another lefty in the rotation" plan. Bruce Miles' article also says Alfonso Soriano's "confidence" in his leg is up, but I still saw him running pretty slowly last night.
- Geovany Soto likes hitting fifth. And with the number of runs he's driving in, he ought to stay in that slot.
- MLB is getting very concerned about maple bats and the way they shatter into pieces, rather than just crack. Good. They should be, and do something before someone else gets seriously hurt. Pirates batting coach Don Long was lucky:
Long suffered a gash to the left side of his nose and just above his lip when whirling wood became a near-lethal weapon. The sharp end of the bat not only left a nasty scar, it damaged a nerve that left part of his upper lip without feeling.
"The ball (off Nate McLouth's bat) was hit down the right-field line and I was following the ball and didn't even see the bat break," Long recalled during a recent stop at Wrigley Field. "It hit me and I saw the blood coming out.
"I was lucky. It could have hit me in the eye."
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Ted Lilly||5-4||10||10||0||0||0||0||56.0||52||32||32||7||19||56||5.14||1.27|
|2008 - Paul Maholm||2-5||9||9||1||0||0||0||53.2||64||32||30||5||20||38||5.03||1.57|
Hard to believe after 11 games against the Pirates in less than two months, but the Cubs have not faced Paul Maholm yet this season. His last appearance against the Cubs was last September 21 at Wrigley Field, and Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano homered off him and Maholm allowed ten hits and six earned runs in two innings. (Maybe that's why his face looks so blank in that picture.)
Ted Lilly's overall numbers don't look that great, but in his last six starts he is 5-1, 3.13 with 42 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. His only appearance against the Pirates this year wasn't good -- 3.2 innings, allowing 5 earned runs on April 7, but the Cubs won that game anyway.
Same TV drill as yesterday: WGN, FSN Pittsburgh, EI, and the MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Today's overflow comment thread will post at 2:00 pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.