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Matchup/Game Thread? Game # 96 at Cubs

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Andy Pettitte Carlos Zambrano
8 - 9, 4.99 9 - 3, 3.23

You know, I was talking yesterday about how Lance deserves extra consideration for MVP, considering what he's done on a poor offensive team, but how about Carlos Zambrano and the Cy Young?

Z comes in with a 3.23 ERA that's good for sixth in the league and a WHIP of 1.26 that's good for 13th. And his K/9IP is sick at 9.00, which is third best in the National League.

But what gets my attention is that Zambrano's managed to go 9 - 3 for a team that's 20 games under. Focusing on the won/loss record may not be sabermetrically correct, but in Z's case so far this year, it tells you more about the pitcher than everything else combined.

And, um, not to worry you folks, but Zambrano's been otherworldly this year against the anemic Astros offense. As of right now, the Cubs righthander is 1 - 0 against Houston in '06 with a microscopic 0.60 ERA. Further, he carries a .667 WHIP against us, and the Astros have hit .122 against him.

But I do have good news. Andy Pettitte, on the strength of three consecutive passable starts, enters a game with his ERA under 5.00 for the first time since May 20!