- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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Manager Lou Piniella has set his starting rotation through Sunday.
Carlos Zambrano will pitch one of the three games in Pittsburgh next week.
The Cubs will have a chance to reconfigure their starting pitchers next week, with an off day on Thursday.
The Cubs’ subpar play at home has begun to show up at the turnstile. There were a good number of empty seats in the bleachers during the team’s past three home games. During those games they have posted attendance numbers of 35, 760 (May 17), 37, 029 (May 18) and 34,749 (Tuesday). Those numbers point to an erosion in the ever-present sell-out mode the Cubs have been in the past three years.
Recently signed reliever Bob Howry related his conversation with Jim Hendry before he signed with the team last week.
“He asked me if I thought I had anything left,” Howry said. “He asked me if I could still go out and pitch. I said ‘yeah’ if I didn’t [think so] I’d still be sitting at home now. I’m not going to come out and play and embarrass myself. If I didn’t believe I could come out and be successful, I wouldn’t be here.”
Piniella said in his pregame news conference that he would use Howry in middle relief for the time being. Howry pitched 1/3 of an inning Saturday night giving up one hit and one walk. He was used in the 7th inning that evening.