Since Lou maybe picked a guy with the wrong makeup to start Game 1, I’ve been trying to figure out who the ace is on this staff.
Personality issues aside, the case against Zambrano rests on his wildness. He was 43rd in the league in K-to-BB ratio among pitchers with 140 innings. Zambrano’s number was 1.81, less than two strikeouts per walk. (Here is a good source for this stat.)
Harden looks like an ace sometimes, but in twelve starts with the Cubs he averaged less than six innings, and this was when he was fairly healthy.
Ted Lilly does surprisingly well in the K-to-BB ranking, where he’s 12th overall at 2.88. He was 11th in Ks per 9 innings (8.09), and 16th in WHIP (1.23), just below Dempster.
We tend to think of Lilly as not even a #2 starter, and Lou never gave him the ball against the Dodgers.
It may be that the Cubs have four really good #3 starters and no #1′s or #2′s, which could be a problem in a short series.