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This Is The Rain That Never Ends: Cubs vs. Reds, Tuesday 4/21, 7:05 CT

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Here is the Chicago area weather radar, for your information and amusement. Let's hope it has less green on it later this evening.

Tonight is Carlos Zambrano no-hitter statue giveaway night. Check out this eBay auction for the statues, posted many hours before the gates even opened.

Z isn't pitching tonight, but he's the subject of another item here, too. Remember the story that Z was supposed to have LASIK eye surgery? (I don't think he ever did.) Maybe he shouldn't -- Braves catcher Brian McCann, who had LASIK a couple of years ago, is having trouble with his vision. In fairness, I myself had LASIK in 1998 and have not had any problems with vision; I think Greg Maddux had this surgery too. They do tell you when you have it, that in about 1-2% of cases there can be blurred vision problems, especially at night, which would definitely affect a baseball player with bright stadium lights on.

Milton Bradley is supposed to return to the lineup tonight; with the cold, wet weather, who knows if that will still be the case. That article has some nice things to say about Micah Hoffpauir:
Manager Lou Piniella even batted Hoffpauir against lefties and admits "we like Micah."

"He can play both corner outfields and first base," Piniella said. "He gives us a good bat coming off the bench and at the same time he's got some power."

Personally, I have yet to be totally convinced he can handle the outfield. He hasn't embarrassed himself so far.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Harden
Rich Harden
Cubs
vs. Micah Owings
Micah Owings
Reds
0-1 W-L 0-1
5.00 ERA 7.20
18 SO 2
6 BB 2
2 HR 2
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Rich Harden 0-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 9.0 8 6 5 2 6 18 5.00 1.56


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Micah Owings 0-1 4 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 5 4 4 2 2 2 7.20 1.40

Why the Reds don't try Micah Owings as a fulltime hitter is beyond me. He seems much better at hitting than pitching. He has a 5.01 career ERA in 262 innings with 36 homers allowed. As a hitter he's .322/.357/.562 (.919 OPS) in 121 at-bats with 12 doubles and 5 homers -- that would translate into a 30-homer season in 600 AB. He's 8-for-24 lifetime as a PH with 3 doubles, 1 HR and 3 walks -- that's better than his fellow Micah, Hoffpauir.

So tonight, let's hope the Cubs can hit him -- no current Cub has more than one hit off him -- and keep him from hitting.

The only Red who has more than 3 career AB against Rich Harden is Laynce Nix, who faced him in the AL -- 3-for-17. Overall Rich is 2-0, 2.92 in his only two starts vs. the Reds.

Today's game is on WGN-TV, so available to everyone with cable, and also on FSN Ohio. For other games see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.