40-24 2.5 GMs ahead of St. Louis
The Week that Was:
- Game 1: Carlos Zambrano had a better day with the bat than on the mound. He went 3-3 in 5 IP with 3 ER. He got the win, because of a Cubs offense that put togther 7 runs, led by Jim Edmonds. Carlos Marmol gave up a 3-run HR, creating the need for Kerry Wood to get his 15th SV. Cubs win 7-6
- Game 2: The Cubs offense has another great outing, scoring 9 runs, on the backs of Geovany Soto (10), Mark DeRosa (6) and Alfonso Soriano (14), who all hit HRs. Jason Marquis didn't have his best outing (3 ER 5IP), but got the win. Kevin Hart pitched poorly (3 ER .1 IP) creating the need for Kerry Wood to get his 16th SV. Cubs win 9-6
- Game 3: Ted Lilly pitched what was easily the best start of the series (7.1 IP 2 ER 8 K), but got outdueled by former-Cub and future hall of famer Greg Maddux (7 IP 1 ER) The Cubs offense only recorded 4 hits, and didn't take a BB Cubs lose 2-1
- Game 4: Ryan Dempster had only a decent outing on this day (5.1 IP 3 ER), but it wasn't him, it was Bob Howry who got the win. After 2 Jeff Kent HRs, a Kosuke Fukudome single in the 9th gave the Cubs the lead, he had homered earlier in the game (4). Mark DeRosa also hit a HR (7). Kerry Wood got his 17th SV Cubs win 5-4
- Game 5: Sean Gallagher's 5 IP 2 ER was not enough, as the Cubs couldn't get any offense against Hiroki Kuroda (9 IP 0 R 11 K). The offense only got 4 hits, and no BBs. Cubs lose 3-0
- Game 6: Carlos Zambrano played like Carlos Zambrano the first 6 innings, giving up only 2 runs and have the go-ahead single. But then his defense abandoned him. An Aramis Ramirez error and a Fukudome missed diving catch allowed the Dodgers to score 5 runs in the inning. Alfonso Soriano homered, his 15th. Cubs lose 7-3
- Game 7: This was the Jason Marquis we expected to see in April and May. He turned in a very nice 6.1 IP 1 R 0 ER preformence. Mark DeRosa was all the offense the Cubs needed, as he drove in two including a solo HR (8). Carlos Marmol pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, picking up his 19th hold and Kerry Wood recorded his 18th SV.
My Prediciton: Well 1 worse game, Z didn't get his 9th win, Howry did get one, only Soriano hit 2 HRs.
The Week the will be:
The Cubs get the Braves at home for a 3-game set. The Cubs 26-8 home record vs. the Braves 7-21 road record seems like a huge mismatch. (Hopefully it is). Braves' star Chipper Jones will miss at least the first couple games against the Cubs, the Braves are 0-6 without Chipper this year.
- Game 1 Ted Lilly vs. Tom Glavine. Glavine has actually been a much better pitcher on the road this year (3.48 ERA). He's coming off two straight good starts, although the Braves lost them both. Aramis Ramirez (12-25 3 HR) and Alfonso Soriano (8-20 1 HR) hit him well. This is Lilly's first start against the Braves since he was ejected for beaning Edgar Renteria if I remember correctly. Let's hope he doesn't do that again. No current Braves hit him well.
- Game 2: Ryan Dempster vs. Jair Jurrjens. JJ has a 4.84 road ERA this season and is coming off two straight bad outings. Jim Edmonds (0-3) is the only Cub who's ever seen him. Dempster, who is looking to tie Zambrano for the team lead in wins, hasn't been hit well by any Braves.
- Game 3: Sean Gallagher vs. Tim Hudson. Hudson is good wherever, but is slightly worse on the road (3.21). 6 out of his last 8 starts have been very good and is 1-0 with 3.60 ERA in his last 2 Wrigley starts. Jim Edmonds (8-18 1 HR) and Derrek Lee (4-10 1 HR) hit him well. Gallagher has been much better at home this year (3.52) and the Cubs have won all 4 of his Wrigley starts. No Brave hitter has seen him more than twice. (Carlos Zambrano could start here, bumping up everyone in the rotation, skipping Gallagher)
Cubs then head up North for their first interleague series of the year, against the Blue Jays. The Jays are last in the AL-E at 33-33 and are 16-14 at home. They've lost 7 out of their last 9. Unfortunatley the Cubs don't face a lefty, so Reed Johnson might not be able to get back at the team that cut him earlier in the year.
- Game 4: A.J. Burnett vs. Carlos Zambrano. Burnett has been bad at home (7.54) and is coming off an absolutely horrible start against the Orioles. Jim Edmonds has walked 12 times in 26 career plate apperances against him. Z will try and bounce back, no Blue Jay hits him well.
- Game 5: Roy Halladay vs. Jason Marquis. Halladay is a great pitcher, and is great at home (3-1 2.70). He hasn't lost a start since May 9th and no Cub hits him hard. Marquis will look to continue what he did two nights ago and what he's done sofar this year on the road (3.97). Brad Wilkerson (5-15 2 HRs) hits him hard
- Game 6: Jesse Litsch vs. Ted Lilly. Litsch is a very good young pitcher who is very good at home (3-0 2.97). He's coming off a loss against the Yankees and no Cub has ever seen him. Lilly is an ex-Jay and was 9-5 with a 4.08 ERA in his last season there. Shanon Stewart hits him well (5-12)
Predictions: This is one of the hardest weeks to predict, because much relys on Lou's decison on whether to move up Z. My guess is that he does, which results in a sweep on the Braves. But they lose 2 out of 3 in Toronto. Lilly gets 2 wins and Edmonds hits 2 HRs.