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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh, 29 August 2006

Zambrano, Maholm (

7:05 PM

FSNP, KDKA (and, for you out-of-towners, WGN)

Carlos Zambrano (14-5, 3.31) vs. Paul Maholm (6-10, 4.82).

Zambrano has faced the Bucs only once this season - he allowed five runs against them on August 4. Despite his being a Cub, I  like Zambrano a lot. It's amazing that he's barely 25 - he's already excellent, and despite toiling for several years in the Dusty Baker Pitcher Abuse Factory, he still has a bunch of headroom - he could become even better by limiting his walks. Like C.C. Sabathia, Zambrano became a workhorse at a surprisingly young age.

Here's a list of some Pirates and Pirates farmhands who are actually older than Zambrano:

Chris Duffy
Jose Castillo
Ronny Paulino
Ryan Doumit
Jose Bautista
John VanBenschoten
Bryan Bullington
Jonah Bayliss
Josh Sharpless
Adam Boeve
Brad Eldred

Amazing, isn't it? The comparison puts into perspective just how young Zambrano is, and how old the Pirates' "young" players are.

Box Score: Ryan Doumit starts at first again; Jack Wilson is still out.