Game #142 vs. Chicago

PNC Park | 7:05 | Snell vs. Carlos Zambrano | Box
When he found the strike zone, the Pirates were almost unable to hit Carlos Zambrano. He allowed only two hits, but walked five, in allowing one run over seven plus innings. Three Cubs relievers combined to complete the two hitter.
Jason Bay, who pounds Z, left the game with a right knee issue. That loomed somewhat large as Alfonso Soriano homered into the first row of the leftfield bleachers just out of the reach of Nate McLouth, who moved over to left when J-Bay was forced from the game. Ryan Doumit entered the game, bumping McLouth from RF to LF, and looked rusty in his first game back as he whiffed twice.
Ian Snell didn’t pitch terribly. He allowed three earned runs in seven innings. He took the loss and drops to 9-12 on the season.
It’s down to this, if the Bucs drop one more contest in 2007, they can’t finish above .500.
Pre-game Thoughts
With 21 games remaining, the Pirates need to go 20-1 in order to win 82 games. It goes without saying, that ain’t gonna happen.
Ian Snell goes tonight against Carlos Zambrano. Snell has won two of his last three decisions and is coming off a scoreless seven inning stint against St. Louis. He is looking for his 10th win tonight, which would put him in double figures for the second straight year. In seven appearances (five starts) against the Cubs, Snell is 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA. Back in May, Snell had two consecutive starts against the Cubs and went 0-1 after allowing six earned runs in 12 IP.
Several of the Cubs have done well against Snell. Alfonso Soriano is 5-8 with two homers. Aramis Ramirez is 6-15. Derrek Lee is 5-15 with 5 RBI. On the opposite end, Jacque Jones is 0-9.
Much has been written about Carlos Zambrano. He struggled early. Then he pitched well enough for the Cubs to pony up some dough and sign him to a big extension. Then he started to pitch poorly again. Then he got booed and complained about being booed. Sounds like a soap opera.
He has lost his last five decisions to fall to 14-12, driving his ERA up nearly one run. Zambrano is 7-6 with a 4.19 ERA in 18 career appearances against the Bucs. The Pirates have beaten him twice in 2007, on May 10 and July 8. He is 4-1 at PNC Park in his career with a 4.19 ERA.
Jason Bay has hit him very well – 12-33 with five homers and 16 RBi. Nobody else has done much other than Xavier Nady who likely won’t play. Jack Wilson (8-37 career against Z) is smoking hot. The rest of the club looks like this:
Jose Bautista – 1-10
Jose Castillo – 5-21
Adam LaRoche – 1-13 with five whiffs
Nate McLouth – 2-8
Ronny Paulino – 1-10 with five whiffs
Freddy Sanchez – 4-20

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