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Matchup/Diary Game # 120 vs. Cubs

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Carlos Zambrano   Roy Oswalt
9 - 5, 3.17    14 - 9, 2.57

You may not have noticed, but the pitching matchups have grown harder as the Cubs series has progressed. Rusch-Maddux-Zambrano would map a steep slope if graphed on the abcissa of hitter's difficulty. For example, Rusch would rank somewhere around 50th in the league if he qualified for batting average against; Maddux ranks 38th, and now Zambrano ranks fifth.

And unlike Roy Oswalt, Zambrano has actually been good two appearances out of his last three.

It feels like treason, almost, to suggest that Oswalt--badass, junkyard dog Oswalt--hasn't been pitching that well lately, but it's true:

Zambrano and Oswalt over the Last Three
Zambrano GAME ROLLING  
Zambrano IP H BB ER   WHIP   WHIP ERA
8/2 @PHI 8 4 1 0 0.63 0.63 0.00
8/7 @NYM 3 4 3 2 2.33 1.09 6.00
8/12 STL 6 6 1 0 1.17 1.12 0.00
Three-Game Totals 17 14 5 2 1.12 --- 1.06
 
Oswalt GAME ROLLING  
Oswalt IP H BB ER   WHIP   WHIP ERA
7/31 NYM 6 9 1 3 1.67 1.67 4.50
8/6 @SF 7 9 1 3 1.43 1.54 3.86
8/12 PIT 7 10 2 4 1.71 1.60 5.14
Three-Game Totals 20 28 4 10 1.60 --- 4.50

Jim Molony, over on the official site, broaches the subject, and I'll pipe in, too: Lance Berkman has four RBI in August, with two coming in one game. Need to step it up, Lance, stomachache or no.

A victory tonight and the Astros can more or less go on with business as usual; a loss, and we go to standby panic mode.

Go Astros.

Please.