PITTSBURGH PIRATES (14-18) vs. CHICAGO CUBS (16-15)
MAY 10, 2007 AT WRIGLEY FIELD --- GAME #33, ROAD #20
LHP PAUL MAHOLM (1-4, 5.51 ERA) vs. RHP CARLOS ZAMBRANO (3-2, 5.80 ERA)
2:20 EDT WGN
RHP Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 5.80):
Carlos, who turns 26 on June 1, is making his eighth start of the season and looking to extend his winning streak to 3 straight games … he made his third straight Opening Day start April 2 in Cincinnati but was tagged with the 5-1 loss before winning his next start, April 7 in Milwaukee.
Owns a 67-44 career record with a 3.39 ERA (383 ER/1017.1 IP) in 174 games (153 starts).
His 67 wins are the most by any Major League pitcher currently 25 or under … Dontrelle Willis is second with 63 wins while Jake Peavy is third with 61.
The right-hander was the Cubs’ lone representative for the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh … it marked the second time he’s been named to the National League All-Star Team (also 2004).
Zambrano did not pitch in the 2006 Mid-Summer Classic.
Zambrano was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in July 1997 … he rose through the farm system, reaching the Majors as a 20-year-old in 2001.
Has recorded 7.92 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched as a starter … that ranks fourth-highest all-time among Cubs starting pitchers (min. 500.0 IP) … Mark Prior is first with a 10.37 mark, followed by Kerry Wood (10.36) and Matt Clement (8.82).
His 11 career home runs rank tied for third-most among Cubs pitchers in franchise history (with Charlie Root) while his six dingers in 2006 tied Fergie Jenkins (in 1971) for the single-season record by a Cubs pitcher.
Pitched for Venezuela in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, going 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA (4 ER/6.2 IP) in two games, one start.
Last Time Out:
Earned his second straight victory in the Cubs’ 6-4 win vs. Washington May 4, despite spotting the Nationals 4 first-inning runs including an Austin Kearns 3-run homer.
Tossed 5.0 shutout innings after his rough first frame, and became the second Cubs hurler in the last 30 years to surrender 4 or more runs in the first inning of a game, but allow no more runs and get credit for the victory … Scott Sanderson did it on May 8, 1986 vs. the Dodgers (thanks to Elias Sports Bureau).
Has posted a 3.44 ERA (7 ER/18.1 IP) over his last 3 starts after producing a 7.77 ERA (19 ER/22.0 IP) over his first 4 starts this season … right-handed hitters are batting just .186 (13-for-70) against him, but lefties are hitting .349 (30-for-86) … has allowed 10 first-inning runs on the year.
Made his first start of the season and his third straight Opening Day start April 2 in Cincinnati.
Tagged with the 5-1 loss after allowing five runs on six hits (two home runs) and five walks while striking out two.
The 5.0 IP marked his longest career Opening Day outing … he lasted 4.2 innings in both 2005 (in Arizona) and 2006 (in Cincinnati).
Recorded his first win of the season, allowing 3 runs in 7.0 innings of work in Chicago’s 6-3 victory in Milwaukee April 7 … allowed 5 hits (2 home runs) and 2 walks while striking out 6.
Tagged with the 6-5 loss, April 13 vs. Cincinnati, allowing 6 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks while striking out 2.
Allowed 1 hit through his first 4.0 scoreless innings before allowing the first nine Reds batters to reach base in the fifth … was pulled with the bases loaded, none out and the Cubs holding a 5-4 lead … two inherited runners went on to score to give the Reds the lead for good.
Went 6.0 innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks while striking out 6 in Chicago’s 8-6 loss in Atlanta, April 18.
Tagged for 4 runs on 4 hits in the first inning, including a 2-out Jeff Francoeur, 3-run homer … worked with runners on base in every inning.
Pitched 5.1 innings April 23 vs. Milwaukee, leaving the game with a 4-2 lead … it would not hold up as the Brewers came back to win 5-4 in 12 innings.
Allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7 … tossed 3.0 scoreless innings before allowing a J.J. Hardy solo homer to start the fourth … allowed a leadoff walk to Gabe Gross to start the fourth, who would come around to score on a Tony Gwynn single.
Enjoyed his strongest outing of the season, allowing just 1 run in 7.0 innings of work while earning the win in the Cubs’ 8-1 win in St. Louis April 28 … only blemish came in the form of an Albert Pujols solo home run in the seventh inning with the Cubs up, 8-0.
Allowed 7 hits and struck out 2 … did not walk a batter in a start for the first time since August 22, 2005 vs. Atlanta.