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: May 5, 2008 12:01 am

State of the Cubs Week 5

18-13 1.5 GB behind Cardinals

The Week that was: Cubs lose both series 1-2, taking the middle game in each set. Cubs changed their pen twice, sending Rich Hill and Kevin Hart to the minors, and bringing up Chad Fox and Sean Gallagher. All 4 loses were within 3 runs, while the 2 wins were blowouts. The Cubs have now dropped 3 straight series.

My last week's predicton: Well I predicted 4 games right. Soriano had 1 homer and 3 RBI if I remember correcty.

The good: Cubs offense scored 3 runs in each game, and dismanteled the Brewers on Wed. Mike Fontenot, Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome all hit well.

The bad: Hart, Wood, Hill and Marquis all didn't throw well.

What to expect this week: The Cubs get to face the Reds, in Cincy. The Reds are tied for the worst record in baseball at 12-20 and have lost 5 straight. Cubs took 2 out of 3 vs the Reds earlier in the season. In the first game the Cubs get to face Johnny Cueto, who has lost 3 out of his last 4 starts, including a 7 R 1.2 IP debacle on Thursday. Cubs counter with Ryan Dempster, who is 4-0 with a 3.16 ERA. He beat the Reds earlier in the year, but that was his worst outing: 4 R 6 IP. In the second game the Cubs get to face the Reds' ace Aaron Harang. Harang is 1-4 with a 2.98 ERA, his worst start of the season was a 5 ER 6 IP outing vs. the Cubs on April 15th. Cubs will have Carlos Zambrano going in that game, Z has been great all year (4-1 2.11 ERA) including a 2 ER 7 IP win against the Reds earlier in the year. In the third game the Cubs get to face Edison Volquez, who's been great 4-1 1.27 ERA including a win against the Cubs. Facing Volquez will be former 20 game winner Jon Lieber, who makes his first start of the season.

Then the Cubs return home to face the Diamondbacks. The Dbacks are playing as the best team in baseball right now, and the Cubs have never been able to do well against them. The pitching doesn't get easy against the Diamondbacks, even though we miss Webb. We'll face Dan Haren, super prospect making his first career start Max Scherzer and future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. And we get to counter with Lilly, Marquis and Dempster. And not only do the DBacks send out 3 good pitchers, but they happen to have the second best run-scoring offense in baseball, behind only the Cubs.

Prediction: Cubs go 3-3, taking the first 2 from the Reds and the middle game from the DBacks. Dempster, Z and Marmol all get wins. Kosuke Fukudome hits 2 homers.

Category: MLB
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
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