Baker Wants Maddux to Stick Around

Greg Maddux is in the final year of a three-year deal, and the 40-year-old is off to one of his best starts in 12 years with a 3-0 mark and a 1.33 ERA.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker is impressed enough with Maddux that he feels the veteran should stay in town for a little longer than 2006.

"At this point, it's hard to imagine him not pitching forever," Baker said. "Maybe before (the end of the season) they can be talking about a contract extension."

Maddux was solid in 2004 and 2005 in his return to the Cubs, but he worked hard during the winter to get in shape, and it has helped. In recent years, Maddux has struggled in April.

REPLAY: The Cubs earned a thrilling, 5-4, come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday, but they lost two players in the process.

Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal bunted his way to first base in the bottom of the seventh inning, and two Cubs went down on the play. First baseman Derrek Lee and left-handed relief pitcher Scott Eyre had to leave the contest with injuries.

Lee hurt his right wrist colliding with Furcal on the bag. He has a sprained wrist and will be examined in Chicago on Thursday. Eyre was hurt diving for the ball before the Lee-Furcal collision and suffered a contusion to his right knee. He is day-to-day.


--LHP Sean Marshall continues to impress. The rookie allowed two runs on two hits in five innings Wednesday against the Dodgers, but he did not pick up a decision as he left the game with the score tied at 2.

--C Michael Barrett, who last week moved up to cleanup in the lineup and leads the team in RBIs, was moved down to seventh on Wednesday night against the Dodgers because he has been in a small slump this week. He went 1-for-4, coming up with an RBI single in the Cubs' game-winning, eighth-inning rally.

--LF Matt Murton was given a start off Wednesday night because manager Dusty Baker felt that left-handed-hitting OF John Mabry would fare better against Dodgers RHP Brad Penny. It's the first game that Murton has not started.

--RHP Carlos Zambrano, who has yet to win a game in four appearances, has allowed 17 walks in 22 2/3 innings, which is pumping up his pitch counts. Cubs manager Dusty Baker said he liked that Zambrano was able to make clutch pitches to get out of jams when he allowed one run in six innings against the Dodgers on Tuesday, but he would like Zambrano to improve his command so that he can go deeper into games.


RHP Kerry Wood (shoulder and knee surgery) hopes to be back by late April.

RHP Wade Miller (shoulder surgery) should be back in May.

RHP Mark Prior (strained shoulder) is throwing on the mound again, but no timetable has been set for his return.

OF Angel Pagan (hamstring, knee) should be back in late May.

1B Derrek Lee hurt his right wrist in a collision at first base Wednesday. He will be examined Thursday.

LHP Scott Eyre hurt his right knee while diving for a ball Wednesday. He is day-to-day.

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