Cubs Hitting the Road
Well, after an off-day and losing 2 out of 3 to the Padres, the Cubs are on the road, visiting Pittsburgh for 3 games, Cincinnati for 2, and St. Louis for 2. It's not too early to panic, given that their August and September hopes are largely defined by early-season matchups. Obviously, every game is important, and the NL Central has been roughing each other up lately, keeping things wide open and leaving no club with too much cause for concern.
Nevertheless, the Cubs hit the road to play 7 games against their immediate rivals, and after a hit-and-miss performances against the Brewers, it's time to see how they measure up this year to their Division rivals.
Today's Pitching Matchup:
PIT: LHP Oliver Perez • 0-2, 11.00 ERA in 2005 • 0-2, 4.74 ERA in 2004 vs. CHC
CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano • 1-0, 2.25 ERA in 2005 • 5-0, 1.02 ERA in 2004 vs. PIT
Points of Interest:
Pirates OF Jason Bay is 5-11 lifetime against Zambrano - 3 HRs, 2 2Bs, and 9 RBIs. According to a report on the Cubs website, Zambrano kept a baseball card of Bay taped in his locker during spring training to remind him of Bay's success against his pitching. Let's see how it pans out today.
Conversely, against Pirates ace Oliver Perez, Aramis Ramirez is 4-8, Michael Barrett is 2-7, and Patterson is 3-13 with a HR.
Corey Patterson's 9-game hitting streak to open the season is the first Cub to open the season like that since Brian McRae in 1996.
(Some statistical information taken from report by Carrie Muskat, Cubs website)