Gamecast: June 28, 2010- Pirates at Cubs
Paul Maholm (4-6, 4.24 ERA) vs. Randy Wells (3-6, 5.21 ERA)
After a weekend marked with aggression in the dugout of the Cubs perhaps taking out some aggression out on the Pirates might be what the doctor ordered. The Pirates went 2-13 during interleague play and have dropped their last six. While the Pirates have owned the Cubs so far, it can't hurt to run into a team that has hit the skids even harder than your own.
Another storyline of interest is that the Cubs placed Big Z on the restricted list today. Much to the delight of Paul Sullivan, this situation will not be resolved with an immediate and quiet apology. According to Jim Hendry, Big Z will "not meet formally or travel with the team before the (All-Star) break." Moreover, he will begin treatment on Wednesday to deal with his "issue." The corresponding move will likely be a call-up of Jeff Stevens.
Who's Hot- This isn't so much a "who" but a "what" and that is the term "dead-ass." This phrase seems quite popular among Cubs fans and the national media alike. I expect Bob Brenly to quickly trademark the phrase like one Pat Riley and have a lucrative cashflow from merchandise bearing the phrase.
Who's Not- Outside of the obvious, being the Cubs and Pirates, the trade market has been conspicuously quiet. I would have expected to hear more names being thrown around at this time, particularly of those wearing Cubs Blue. I guess we will just have to wait.
The Cubs need a win. In fact, they could use multiple wins. I know many have given up on this team, but it would be nice to see the Cubs string a few together and at least extend the losing streak of the Pirates. Strange things can happen in late June and July, but the team has to put forth effort to make that happen. Whether that can happen is still an unanswered question at the moment.