PNC Park | 7:05 | Duke vs. Carlos Zambrano | Box
All that was missing from this game was an appearance from Ryan Vogelsong.
Carlos Zambrano collected four singles and pitched a very effective seven innings for the Cubs. Reed Johnson, hitting out of the #8 slot, drove home four runs with two doubles and a home run.
The Cubs jumped on Zach Duke early and often. Duke lasted four innings and gave up at least one run in each of his innings of work. Sean Burnett and Marino Salas relieved with the results not faring much differently. Burnett was touched for four runs in two innings. Salas gave up three in three innings.
Nate McLouth and Jason Bay each had two knocks for the offense.
Z comes to Pittsburgh. And he will be looking for revenge after his worst start of the young 2008 season. Carlos Zambrano didn’t pitch five innings for the first time all year in his last outing. He wound up with a no decision.
Zambrano is 9-6 vs. the Pirates for his career. After that last start, his ERA against the Smoky City Nine has crept up over 4.00. He is 5-1 all-time at PNC with a 3.90 ERA. It is feast or famine for Bucco hitters against Z. Both Jason Bay and Xavier Nady are hitting over .350. The club as a whole is hitting .223. So, no one else is doing much of anything.
The last time Zambrano pitched was also the last time that Zach Duke pitched. Like Z, Duke received a no decision. Overall on the year he is 2-2 with a near league average ERA. He is 4-3 with a lifetime 2.84 ERA against Chicago.
Other than Jim Edmonds who is 0-8 in his career vs. Duke, most of the Cubs have enjoyed hitting against the Pirates starter. As a whole, the team is hitting .323. Alfonoso Soriano is 10-18.
According to the Post-Gazette, Ryan Doumit is on the fast track to recovery. Jack Wilson has been slowed by some chilly weather in his rehab assignments.