Tuesday, April 18

The 405 will be clogged tonight


Tonight sees game two in LA-LA land against those crafty dodgers, in the city where conscientiousness and altruism go to die. With Zambrano on the mound, we have another strong chance of snagging the win, as Carlos can't get enough of these self-absorbed Hollywood types. Glamour was always his strong suit, and with TheHawk's presence, maybe he'll pull out the pyrotechnics once more, just for LB's sake.

1st Base -- Zambrano loves Los Angeles.
In 7 career appearances vs. the Dodgers [3 starts], El Toro Borracho is a sturdy 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA. Not only that, but lifetime at Dodger Stadium, he's allowed only 2 unearned runs in 16 1/3 innings pitched. As if that all wasn't enough - the current Dodgers roster has a pathetic .182 BA against Z. [99 at-bats] Only Jeff Kent has anything to shout about, posting a .250 mark with 2 RBIs and 10 Ks.

2nd Base -- Derek Lowe: Not So Lucky
Lowe is a career 8-9 when pitching at Dodger Stadium [4.26 ERA], which makes his decision to join them all the more perplexing. His last start saw him cough up 8 runs on 9 hits in just 5 innings of work. Derrek Lee is also 6-for-12 lifetime [HR, 3 RBI] and Neifi Perez is .357 lifetime [5-for-14, HR, 3 RBI], which might make tonight more difficult for the Lowe-meister.

3rd Base -- Hot Hitters
Todd Walker and Matt Murton are red hot right now [Ho Ho Ho], tearing the cover off the ball over the last 7 days. Walker rightly earned COTW for his efforts [.474, 2 HR, 5 RBI], while El Murto was no Ramblin' Rose with an equally warm week [.360, HR, 2 2B, 3B, 6 RBI]. For Los Angeles, Olmedo Saenz [.333, HR, 6 RBI] and Bill Mueller [.333, 2 HR, 6 RBI] are the hot hands to pay attention to.

Home Plate -- Dempster's Run at History
After last night's performance, Ryan Dempster moved one step closer to the Cubs' record books. He is tied with Joe Borowski [hey, whatever happened to that salty sea dog?] for most consecutive converted saves with 22, and has a chance to smash it tonight. His current scoreless innings streak is now up to 29 1/3 [going back to last season], making him look like a changed man from the once-failed starter who went 3-7 with a 6.54 ERA in his last full season as a starter [2004 in Cincinnati, which is hardly surprising].

Talk to us! I'm looking at a juicy W tonight [and that's a double pun, you know]. Tell me how much you hate me, and let's have some laughs.


At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just for clarity, it will be the 110 freeway which will be clogged tonight, as that is the freeway next to dodger stadium. (the 405 will be clogged as well, but not because of the cubs.)
I was happy to see a large number of cub's fans at last night's game. If Marshall can pitch a gem tomorrow, the cubs have a good chance of a sweep! Yes, I'm overlooking tonight's game, because Z was inspired by maddux last night and will dominate the lowly dodgers.
cubs woo! cubs woo!

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

1) JT, didn't he have 29.1 consecutive scoreless innings and tie Borowski before last night? I thought last night was the clincher for breaking the record, as he how had 30.1 IP and 23 appearances. But I didn't see that anywhere and didn't have a lot of time to look, so I didn't specifically say it.

Was I mistaken in thinking so?

2) Let's not forget about Barrett tonight either. He also had a pretty hot last week, and we all know what Jim would say...

3) I agree with the poster above, here comes the Cub train...

At 4:14 PM, Blogger JT said...

Anon -- thank you for clarifying. I reckon Marshall should do alright, although Penny is firing hard so far this season [2-0, 1.50 ERA, 3 ER in 18 IP].

Hypo -- no, as it would have been a much bigger deal? Last night was the tying game, according to all the game recaps and whatnot. Tonight he goes for it.

As for Barrett, yeah, he's batting .330-ish this week. He should do well against Lowe who is having control issues with his off-speed pitches and has been leaving many presents right over the plate [see: Isringhausen last sunday night].

Cubs woo!

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

If a .451 avg. and IMPORTANT home runs don't secure Walker a regular starting spot (meaning not taking a seat every 4th game in favor of Hairston) then I'm not sure what will. Look for him to start until the bat cools off a little, if it does. Of course, the troubling thing is Hairston has actually been hitting some good line drives. If you ignore salaries and roles right now, Hairston is a better fit for Right Field than Jones is. I really hope Jones finds his offense soon, because he's hurting us right now.

Piere is coming through and has that avg. up to .280. I hope to see it continue to rise, as well as the runs scored stat.

Is Zambrano due for a win? Let's hope he brings his best stuff tonight.

Barrett for Caesar. Vote early, vote often.

Cubs woo? Okay. Cubs woo! But hopefully, "Cubs win!"

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Don't jinx the boys by countin' chickens too soon!

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

If you check out Sports Illustrated .com's statistic pages, you won't find Todd Walker anywhere on the lists. Why not? He has a higher BA than the guy listed as tops in the NL right now. Okay, so he only has 33 ABs. But he has more hits than Paul LoDuca, who is on the lists. He has the same # of hits as Omar Vizquel, and more total bases. It seems like Walker never does quite get the respect he deserves.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Oh, and as for those who were/are worried about Cubs pitching at the beginning of the season. We're third in the NL in ERA, tied with Arizona for best BB+H / IN ratio, and have the lowest opponent batting average. The apparent reasons for us being behind the Mets and Cardinals in ERA are that we've walked more and given up more home runs than either of those teams have. Considerring we've got a swing man, a rookie from AA, a long reliever, a 40-year-old, and an Ace who has yet to get his act together all in the starting rotation, I'd say that's pretty good. Thank you Mad Dog, thank you bullpen. Now if everyone else gets on the ball (Williams and Rusch both put up good numbers in their last outings, Marshall seems to be getting better, and Z gets a chance tonight), we just might have a strong pitching team. And that's not factoring in the potential for Prior, Wood and Miller.

Oh, and the Cubs offense has been doing okay two. Third in the NL in batting average. However, we're pretty low on the list in OBP and I think we are dead last in walks. That's probably going to stay about that way through the whole season. But what has redeemed this offense so far is that we are hard to strike out. We have either the fewest or second fewest strike outs in the NL. It's a good contact offense. Oh, and speed helps too.

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

OK, too much to be said about all that. That is some of the most heartening shit I have heard all week. And we all knew it to be true if we'd think about it.

The real reason I wanted to comment though:
My solution to a common gripe we all have. Hairston is hitting the ball well, but Walker continues to POUND the ball, performing in a way that should give him the starting position in all of our opinions. SO, how do you sit Hairston when he has been pretty solid offensively so far? EASY, YOU DON'T!!! Play him in RF for Jones half of the time. He'll get the same number of starts that way as he would at second, plus you are keeping Walker's bat in the lineup. Maybe that type of platoon would even help Jones get on track.

BRB, I'm calling Dusty to see if he can get that lineup in tonight...

At 4:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my original reference to cubs woo! was in reference to the cubs unofficial mascot, ronnie-woo :)


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