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Tag:Nationals
Posted on: August 24, 2008 9:07 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2008 9:19 pm
 

State of the Cubs Week 21

80-50 4.5 GMs up on Milwaukee, 8 GMs up on St. Louis, .5 GMs up in all of baseball

Magic Number: 28

The Week that Was:

It tough to say two series wins are a disapointment, but they almost are. They've won 8 straight series, which they haven't done since 1927. Rich Harden got not one but got two wins. The were bested again by John Lannen and the squandered a Ted Lilly gem. Mark DeRosa hit a HR in 4 straight games (HR1, HR2, HR3, HR4), first Cub to do that since Fred McGriff. And Geovany Soto tied Randy Hundley for the most HR for a Cub catcher.

My Predictions: A game under my prediction, I got Aramis correct with 2 HR but not Soto

The Week that Will be:

The Cubs get to see the Pirates for the last time all year, and I for one am going to miss them. They have lost 4 straight and 6 out of their last 8 home games.

  • Game 1 Ted Lilly vs. Jeff Karstens. The Cubs look for revenge against Karstens, who blanked them a month ago. He's lost his last two starts, both at home. Lilly won his last start against the Pirates, going 6.1 IP of 1 R ball. Ryan Doumit (5-10) and Luis Rivas (2 HR) hit him well.
  • Game 2: Carlos Zambrano vs. Ian Snell. Zambrano got a ND in his shortened start against the Pirates earlier in the month. Only Ryan Doumit (4-12) hits him well. Ian Snell has been a disapointment this season, but he has a respectable 3.92 home ERA. The Cubs have won both his starts this season. Ramirez (8-25), Edmonds (5-18 2 HR), Ryan Theriot (7-16), Soriano (7-15 3 HR) and Mark DeRosa (4-8) all hit him really well.
  • Game 3: Jason Marquis vs. Zach Duke. Marquis takes his 3.49 road ERA to face the Pirates, who he lost to earlier in the year. Jason Micheals (4-6 HR) hits him well. Duke has lost his last 8 decisions and has a BAA of .309. Derrek Lee (10-32 HR), Ramirez (11-32 HR), Ronny Cedeno (8-23) and Alfonso Soriano (12-21 2 HR) all hit him well.

Then the Cubs return home for a 4 games set with the Phillies. The Cubs look for revenge after Philly took 2 out of 3 in a series that occured many months ago.

  • Game 4: Ryan Dempster vs. Cole Hamels. Easily the best pitching matchup in the series. Dempster, 11-2 at home, hasn't given up a HR since July 1st and the Phillies lead the NL in dingers. Jimmy Rollines (9-28) and Pat Burrell (8-21) hit him well. Hamels didn't allow a run in his 7 IP against the Cubs in April. Alfonso Soriano (3 HR), Ramirez (4-11 HR) and Ryan Theriot (5-11 HR) hit him well.
  • Game 5: Rich Harden vs. Joe Blanton. They were teammates earlier in the year, but now they face off. Harden has been masterful as a Cub, and hasn't given up a run in 19 IP.  The Phillies roster is batting .059 off him with 15 Ks in 32 ABs. Blanton has been decent with the Phillies, but his last couple starts haven't been anything to write home about. Reed Johnson (5-10 HR) and Soriano (4-9) hit him well.
  • Game 6: Ted Lilly vs. Brett Myers. Lilly got hit hard by the Phillies in his start against them, but that was when Ted Lilly was sucking hardcore. Pedro Feliz (4-10 2 HR) hits him well. Myers has been short of decent this year, but his last start was a CG shutout vs. the Nationals. He has a 6.35 ERA on the road this year. Lee (12-25 3 HR), Ramirez (7-24 2 HR), Soriano (5-20 3 HR) and Edmonds (6-16 HR) hit him well.
  • Game 7: Carlos Zambrano vs. Jamie Moyer. The former Cub has been the 2nd best starter on the Phillies this season, but was the starter for the only Cubs win in Philly this year. Reed Johnson (10-30 HR) and Mark DeRosa (4-13 HR) hit him well. Z's first loss of the season was to the Phillies, but he has a 7-1 home record. No Phillie hits him well.

Predictions: It's hard to predict that the Cubs lose any of these games, but I'm going to predict that we lose both of Lilly's starts. Alfonso Soriano hits 3 HRs  

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 28, 2008 6:55 pm
 

State of the Cubs Week 4

16-9 .5 games up in divison.

The week that was: Cubs sweep Mets at home, take one out of two from the Rockies, then lose 2 out of three to the Nationals. I'm not sure if I'm disapointed or content with the week. The starting pitching was great, the only loss by a starter was Ted Lilly's 6 IP 2 ER preformence from yesterday. The offense was obviously the key for the week. In the 4 wins, the Cubs scored 7 or more runs in every one, but in the losses they never reached 4. The series with the Mets, and the one with the Rockies were obviously pluses. But you have to be a bit disapointent for only getting 1 win in DC. But, of course, you must realize that just some days of the year any team can beat any other team. And it just so happened that we ran into good preformences by Odalis Perez and John Lannan.

My prediction from last week. I got the first two series perfect, but then botched the Nationals series. I also had 3 SVs for Kerry Wood, but Ronny Cedeno put a stop to that twice.

Coming around.

  • Aramis Ramirez started to hit, going .296/.406/.630 with 2 HR 8 RBI 3 2b in 27 AB
  • Ted Lilly 1-1 2.25 ERA 1.17 WHIP 11 K in 12 IP
  • Ronny Cedeno .375/.400/.625 1 HR 7 RBI 3 2b in 24 AB
  • Felix Pie .445/.500/.727 1 HR 4 RBI 3 R in 11 AB

What to expect this week: 3 game set vs. Milwaukee and a 3 game set in St. Louis, and unfortunately we face the 3 best pitchers of both teams (altough those include Kyle Loshe, Todd Wellimeyer and Jeff Suppan). Jason Marquis throws twice, everyone else once. Alfonso Soriano is eligible to come back on Thursday.

My prediction: Cubs go 4-2, dropping the first game of each series. Zambrano pitches an 8-inning shutout vs. the Brewers. And Alfonso Soriano comes back in a big way, in his 4 games of the week he hits 2 HRs and drives in 5.

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 27, 2008 12:29 pm
 

Official Omnipotent Cubs/Nationals Game 3 Blog

Cubs vs. Nationals

Ted Lilly vs. John Lannen

From BCB...

Ted Lilly threw very well in his last start. It's time to build on that and get that ERA, currently orbiting Mars, down to a reasonable level. It'll take a while. Even if he does what Z did last night -- throw seven scoreless -- his ERA would drop only to 5.68. There's a fair chance he can do this against this franchise -- last year he won his only start vs. Washington, allowing one run in 7 IP. He's particularly good vs. Nats SS Cristian Guzman (1-for-18, 8 strikeouts).

John Lannan has never faced the Cubs -- in this series, of the three starters for the Nats, the Cubs had previously faced one of the three once. No wonder Washington has so much trouble, with such an inexperienced starting staff. Lannan's numbers are pretty decent so far this year -- but with 10 walks in 23.2 IP, expect the newly-patient Cub hitters to try to wait him out.

Today's game is on WGN. Yes, this time for sure. It's also on MASN cable in the Washington/Baltimore area, and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.

Lineups:

Cubs:

  1. Reed Johnson
  2. Ryan Theriot
  3. Derrek Lee
  4. Aramis Ramirez
  5. Kosuke Fukudome
  6. Mark DeRosa
  7. Ronny Cedeno
  8. Henry Blanco
  9. Ted Lilly

Nationals:

  1. Felipe Lopez
  2. Cristian Guzman
  3. Ryan Zimmerman
  4. Nick Johnson
  5. Lastings Milledge
  6. Austin Kearns
  7. Willy Mo Pena
  8. Wi Nieves
  9. John Lannen
Category: MLB
Tags: Cubs, Nationals
 
Posted on: April 26, 2008 6:54 pm
 

Official Omnipotent Cubs/Nationals Game 2 Blog

Cubs vs. Nationals

Carlos Zambrano vs. Matt Chico

From BCB...

This looks like a mismatch if you only look at this year's numbers -- and Matt Chico has been bad in all but one of his five starts this year -- but Chico threw seven shutout innings against the Cubs last July 4 in DC, allowing only four hits (singles by Rich Hill, Aramis Ramirez and Mark DeRosa, and a double to Ryan Theriot). So let's consider that "practice", and tee off on this guy tonight.

Z is 5-2, 3.42 in ten career appearances (eight starts) vs. the Nats/Expos franchise. He hasn't lost to them since May 14, 2005, the second game the Cubs played the Nats in DC after their move to Washington. Z has been solid all year, especially with his control (5 walks in 33.2 IP). Expect to see Rob Mackowiak in the starting lineup for Washington again tonight, as he has pounded Z in his career (.306/.419/.556, 11-for-36, 4 doubles, a triple, a HR, and 7 walks). Last night's Nats hero, Wil Nieves, might also play -- he's 2-for-2 lifetime against Z.

Today's game is cable in Chicago on CSN, on cable in the Beltway on MASN, and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.

Lineups:

Cubs

  1. Reed Johnson
  2. Ryan Theriot
  3. Derrek Lee
  4. Aramis Ramirez
  5. Kosuke Fukudome
  6. Mark DeRosa (Lf)
  7. Geovany Soto
  8. Ronny Cedeno (2b)
  9. Carlos Zambrano

Nationals

  1. Felipe Lopez
  2. Christian Guzman
  3. Ryan Zimmerman
  4. Nick Johnson
  5. Lastings Millage
  6. Austin Kearns
  7. Johnny Estrada
  8. Willy Mo Pena
  9. Matt Chico
Category: MLB
Tags: Cubs, Nationals
 
Posted on: April 25, 2008 6:57 pm
 

Official Omnipotent Cubs/Nationals Game 1 Blog

Cubs vs. Nationals

Ryan Dempster vs. Oliver Perez

From BCB...

Who would have guessed that, three weeks into the season, the starter with the best record would be Ryan Dempster? He's thrown pretty well in all four of his starts and has allowed only one HR in 24 innings. None of the current Nats lineup has hit very well off Dempster and only one (Felipe Lopez) has ever homered off him.

Odalis Perez is 3-1, 3.54 in four career starts vs. the Cubs, but that's largely irrelevant, as the last time he faced them was August 13, 2004. Aramis Ramirez didn't play that day, so only Derrek Lee remains from that day's lineup. Ramirez, for his part, is 4-for-9 with two HR vs. Perez, and while they were both in the AL, Reed Johnson hit Perez hard -- 5-for-8 with a double.

How to manage and not manage a pitching staff: Ned Yost's Brewers are carrying 14 pitchers, leaving only three bench players (actually, two, apart from their backup catcher Mike Rivera). Meanwhile, Lou Piniella is skipping Rich Hill's turn in the rotation again due to the off day Monday. Hill, who threw on Wednesday in Colorado, will have his next turn next Friday in St. Louis -- thus, probably making him available tomorrow and Sunday if the Cubs need an extra pitching body.

Yost=dumb. Piniella=smart.

Today's game is on broadcast TV -- WDCA -- in the Washington area, and on CSN Chicago. Also check the MLB.com Mediacenter.

Lineups:

Cubs:

  1. Reed Johnson
  2. Ryan Theriot
  3. Derrek Lee
  4. Aramis Ramirez
  5. Kosuke Fukudome
  6. Mark DeRosa (Lf)
  7. Geovany Soto
  8. Ronny Cedeno (2b)
  9. Ryan Dempster

Nationals

  1. Felipe Lopez
  2. Christian Guzman
  3. Ryan Zimmerman
  4. Nick Johnson
  5. Lastings Millage
  6. Johnny Estrada
  7. Willy Mo Pena
  8. Rob Mackoviack
  9. Oliver Perez
Category: MLB
Tags: Cubs, Nationals
 
Posted on: April 20, 2008 11:07 pm
 

State of the Cubs Week 3

12-6 .5 up in division.

The week that was: And what a week it was. Cubs go 5-1 at home against the Reds and Pirates. (BTW we own the Pirates). Cubs beat Aaron Harang, Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny, all good pitchers. Cubs scored 9 or more runs in four of the wins. All five wins were granted to starting pitchers, and the lone loss was too. Dempster took in two of the those wins.

My prediction from last week: I said they'd go 4-2, they went 5-1. I did predict the one loss though.

The Hitting: In the last 7 days the Cubs have 5 hitters hitting .400 or better (Lee, DeRosa, Theriot, Johnson and Soto) Lee and DeRosa had multiple HRs, and Lee collected 10 RBIs. Overall the hitting was as good as ever.

The Pitching: Aside from Ted Lilly, the starting pitchers all gave the team the chance to win, and that's all you can ask for from them. Wuertz and Lieber struggled out of the pen, but I have faith that they will each bounce back. I couldn't ask much more out of my pitching staff.

Now you may counter with, "Hey the Cubs beat bad teams". And yes the Pirates are painfully awful, and the Reds aren't that much better. But hey at least we didn't lose 2 out of 3 to the Giants.

What to expect this week: 7 games, 5 on the road. A pair of two games sets to boot. The only two halfway decent pitchers the Cubs will face are John Maine and Aaron Cook. The Cubs will counter them with Zambrano and Marquis respectively.

My prediction: Cubs will take both games from the Mets, including a win for Ted Lilly. Then take 1 out of 2 from the Rockies, losing the Marquis vs. Cook matchup. Then in the Nationals series, the Cubs take 2 out of three, losing the first game. Kerry Wood gets 3 SVs on the week.

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com