Add Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton and Brian Burres to the list of opposing starting pitchers that Cubs hitters can’t solve.

I don’t even think those guys have baseball cards.

The North Siders (13-16) dropped all three games to the Pittsburgh Pirates and now find themselves in fourth place in the National League Central.

Next up for the Cubs is a three-game set in Cincinnati, and they face the same starters they faced in the second series of the season—when they dropped two of three.

The Cubs have called up phenom shortstop Starlin Castro, and he is expected to be in the lineup tonight batting eighth.

It’s all that management can do to hide a disappointing start to the season. I think it might be a little premature though.


Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds

Pitching matchups are subject to change.

Friday, May 7: Carlos Silva (2-0, 2.90) vs. Homer Bailey (0-1, 6.04)
Saturday, May 8: Tom Gorzelanny (1-3, 2.48) vs. Aaron Harang (1-4, 6.68)
Sunday, May 9: Ryan Dempster (2-2, 2.95) vs. Mike Leake (2-0, 2.94)


On the Mound

Carlos Silva had his worst outing as a member of the Cubs his last time out.

He gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings against the Diamondbacks, making it his shortest outing of the season.

Silva has been dealing with a sore wrist since April 21, and the original plan was to give him an extra day of rest between starts. That plan was scratched and he’s back on track. Keep a close eye on the big man.

Keep in mind—Silva started the ’08 season 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in his first six starts and finished the season with just one more win, going 4-15 with a 6.46 ERA.


At the Plate

Let’s hope we look back on this day five years from now as the day the Starlin Castro era took off.

Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes first reported that the phenom shortstop had been called up by the big league club, and that report has since been confirmed.

Castro, 20, is projected to be in the starting lineup tonight (May 7) and bat eight in the order. Theriot moves over to second base to make room for Castro.

At Double-A Tennessee, Castro hit .376 with one home run, 14 extra-base hits and 20 RBIs in 26 games. He also stole four bases and was caught five times.


Left On Base

37—that’s the number of runners left on base by the Cubs in their embarrassing three game sweep at the hands of the Pirates.

Piniella once again played around with the lineup, flip-flopping Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez in the fifth and sixth spots.

The Cubs were doing well in their four-game set against the D’Backs—8.25 runs per game—so it’s hard to understand why Lou felt the need to change things up.


Series Prediction

Reds, 2-1

I think I’ve impressively picked one of nine series so far, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Cubs turn on a switch and light up the Reds over the weekend.

Cincinnati already took two of three at Great American Ballpark earlier this year, so let’s go with that again. Cubs should be able to take advantage of seeing Mike Leake and Homer Bailey for the second time though.

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