There was a time when, if Greg Maddux was pitching on Friday night, you wouldn't be surprised to wake up on Saturday morning and see a line like this in the box scores:
7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 78 Pitches
Well, Maddux did pitch Friday night, in his San Diego debut, and there will be a line like the one above in Saturday's box scores. However, it will belong to the Cubs' Rich Hill, who delivered the team's third consecutive outstanding start in a 9-3 victory over the Brewers. Cub starters have now yielded just three earned runs in 20 innings, good for a women's-fastpitch-softball-like 1.35 ERA.
Maybe Milwaukee starter David Bush was tipping off his pitches or maybe the Cub hitters were energized by all the Chicago partisans who were in attendance, but it looked like every Cub was swinging from his heels, an approach that generally produces lots of strikeouts and, on a good night, lots of long hits.
Tonight, it produced both: 10 K's by Brewer pitchers, seven extra-base hits by the Cubs.
Zambrano pitches tomorrow afternoon against Ben Sheets, then Wade Miller makes his first start of 2007 on Sunday against Cub nemesis, Chris Capuano.