It’s that time of year again, Independence Day Eve, and with the family going to bed early so everyone can be up at the dawn’s first light to gather around the tree and open their Independence Day gifts, I’ve decided to offer a Cubs/Nationals preview instead of the regular postview.

Cubs at Washington,
Tuesday, 7/3, 6:05PM
Broadcast on WGN-TV
Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 4.20) vs. Tim Redding (season’s first start)

Since announcing that he was "starting the season over," Zambrano is 4-1 with a 1.43 ERA. Last time out, this past Wednesday against the Rockies, Z prevailed in a 6-4 game, allowing five hits and two earned runs over six innings. He threw 107 pitches, which represented his lightest workload in awhile: in the previous four outings, he averaged a whopping 120 pitches. Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” That seems to have been the case over Zambrano’s career, though Nietzsche skirted right over issues like frayed rotator cuffs and elbow problems.

As for Redding, the former Astro, Padre and Yankee is the 20th pitcher to take the mound on behalf of the Nats this season. His career numbers suggest he'll fit right in with the rest of the boys: 21-34, 5.16, 488 hits allowed in 436 1/3 IP.

If you were to cast a guy suitable for a team to face in an effort to win its tenth game in the last 11, Redding would definitely be on the short list.


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