There is a lot of “stuff” to look at as the Cubs return home today to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite the fact that the Cubs have a better record (55-76 to 43-87), the Pirates have taken nine of the first 12 games the Cubs have played with them. The Cubs are coming off their best road trip of the season, winning four out of six games under new interim manager Mike Quade.
Andrew Pentis has posted an article at the Cubs’ website titled “Zambrano gets back to business vs. Pirates.”
Carlos Zambrano (5-6, 4.64 ERA) will be pitching for the Cubs against Paul Maholm (7-12, 4.82 ERA), who will be going for the Pirates. Again, the initial numbers don’t necessary tell the entire story. It would seem that Zambrano and the Cubs would have the decided edge ,both with the team numbers and the pitching numbers. However along with the fact that the Pirates have taken nine out of 12 games, Zambrano has an 11-8 record against the Pirates, along with a 4.16 ERA, while Maholm has a 7-1 record against Chicago, despite having a 5.70 ERA against them.
There are a couple of other interesting facts about today’s game. First of all, this will be Quade’s first game as interim manager at Wrigley Field. He took over from Lou Piniella as the Cubs left for their road trip.
A very happy time for us older Cubs’ fans will be this evening before the game, when the Cubs’ honor Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. There was a class act! He came to the Cubs in a one-year deal, which he accepted because nobody would take him because of his injuries. He was willing to prove his worth. I think about him every time some college football player holds out for a billion dollars and think how stupid the teams are to pay it before he has played a down of pro ball.
It is my feeling that the Cubs are going to do well in this Pirate series. They really are a changed team since Quade took over, and they will give the Pirates all they want.
Chicago Cubs’ website, Andrew Pentis, “Zambrano gets back to business vs. Pirates”