Pittsburgh (54-83) at Chicago (55-81)

  • Game info: 2:20 pm EDT Mon Sep 4, 2006
  • TV: WGN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Carlos Zambrano looks to become the second 15-game winner in the NL when the Chicago Cubs play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the start of a four-game series on Monday.

Zambrano (14-5, 3.33 ERA) is trying to join Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers as the league’s only 15-game winners , but has not fared well against the Pirates (54-83) this season.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.54 ERA in two starts against them. Chicago (55-81) has scored a total of five runs in those outings.

After allowing a combined four runs in three consecutive starts, Zambrano struggled on Tuesday against the Pirates. He had a perfect game through four innings, but exited after allowing five runs—three earned—in seven innings a 7-6 loss in 11 innings.

“The way their starter was pitching in the early part of the game, it appeared to be no-hit type stuff,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. “That’s how well he was throwing the ball. It was as one-sided a game for the first five innings as you can possibly get.”

Zambrano is 7-3 with a 3.76 ERA in 15 appearances—including 13 starts— against the Pirates. He’s also second in the NL and third in the majors in with 187 strikeouts, but he also leads the majors in walks (100) and pitches thrown (3,236).

He will be opposed for the second time this season by Paul Maholm (6-10, 4-84), who did not factor after allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings against the Cubs on Tuesday.

The right-hander won his only career start against the Cubs on Sept. 28 at Wrigley Field, allowing two runs and six hits over 6 2-3 innings of the Pirates’ 3-2 win.

Pittsburgh’s season-long road woes continued with a 6-3 loss to St. Louis on Sunday. Pirates ace Ian Snell gave up three homers to reigning NL MVP Albert Pujols.

“I mean, that’s unreal,” said Snell, adding that he felt like giving Pujols a high-five. “That’s like Superman playing baseball.” Pujols.

The Pirates, who lost two of three to St. Louis, have the majors’ worst road record at 18-50 and are already assured of their 14th straight losing season.

Chicago lost for the 13th time in 16 games after dropping a 7-4 decision to San Francisco 7-4 on Sunday. Juan Pierre tied a season-high with four hits but the pitching staff faltered again, allowing Barry Bonds’ 729th career homer.

Cubs pitchers have allowed a major league-worst 566 walks this year.

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Starting Pitchers

P. Maholm CIN vs. C. Zambrano PHI
8-10 Record 16-7
4.76 ERA 3.41
117 K 210
81 BB 115
1.61 WHIP 1.29


Monday, Sep 4