Carlos Zambrano went seven innings, giving up a pair of runs while striking out six, and easily won his seventh game, 12-3. He also went 4-5 at the plate. Zambrano's batting average is now .343, which is higher than any Pirates starting player except the injured Ryan Doumit.
Zach Duke had his usual day, unable to sneak a ball past a batter (he faced 23 hitters in four innings and struck out one) and watched helplessly as ground balls rolled past, through, and off his infielders.
Sean Burnett and Marino Salas pitched the final five innings and gave up seven runs. More AAAA pitchers, we're afraid, unless the Cubs are the 21st century Murderers Row. And you couldn't prove otherwise after the way Chicago has pounded our pitching all year. The Cubs have outscored the Pirates 81-41 this season, averaging 8.1 runs per game against the staff.
In each of the first six innings of tonight's game, the Cubs' leadoff man reached base and scored. They say the third out is the hardest to get, but for the Bucs, it seems to be the first one.
God bless the 32,600 that attended tonight's game. We hope they really enjoyed the fireworks - Zambelli's, that is, not Zambrano's.