Astros @ Cubs Game Two Preview.

August 5, 2008

Well After last nights rain out it really didn’t hurt the cubs in the standings as the Brew Crew dropped their game as well,I myself was at last nights game and i can tell you it was one of the most nastiest storms i have seen this year so i totally understand why it was called,the field,even though the tarp was on was just unplayable,the tarp kept blowing off due to high crosswinds thus soaking the infield,the outfield was a horrid mess also.As far as the Cubs mounting a comeback,yes we will never know but they wee looking very weak at the plate last night,They were also minus D.Lee who has played in all 111 games except for last night,He if anybody deserved the night off.

Lee was batting .289 overall, but was 1-for-7 in the past three games. His power numbers also have dropped. After hitting eight home runs in April, he hit five in May, and had two each in June and July.In Lee’s last 45 at bats he has 9 hits with one HR and 2 doubles along with 6 walks.

Looking ahead to today’s match ups:

Rich Harden

  • #40 RHP
  • (6-2) 2.04 ERA 131 SO

Cubs: Harden finally got his first win with the Cubs. The right-hander had fanned 10 in each of his first three starts for Chicago, but in his fourth against the Brewers, he struck out nine and got the “W.” Harden gave up one run on a solo homer by Prince Fielder. In fact, he’s given up three runs in his four starts with the Cubs, and all have been on solo homers.

Rich Harden vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for HOU
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
  No data, perhaps the minimum PA's are too high?
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Brad Ausmus, Lance Berkman, Geoff Blum, Michael Bourn, Darin Erstad, Carlos Lee, Mark Loretta, Kazuo Matsui, David Newhan, Hunter Pence, Humberto Quintero, Miguel Tejada, and Ty Wigginton & Has not faced pitchers: Brandon Backe, Doug Brocail, Tim Byrdak, Geoff Geary, LaTroy Hawkins, Brian Moehler, Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Chris Sampson, Jose Valverde, Randy Wolf, and Wesley Wright

It is safe to say NOBODY has done well against the hard-throwing righty this year since he is been in a cubs uniform,so without no stats above to go off of and him not facing most of the Astro hitters it could be more of the same today.

Wandy Rodriguez

  • #51 LHP
  • (6-4) 3.61 ERA 83 SO

Astros: Rodriguez struggled in his last start against the Reds, even though only one of the five runs he allowed was categorized as earned. Rodriguez allowed six runs on nine hits, including two home runs to Adam Dunn and another three-run shot to Ken Griffey Jr. in the series finale. The last time Rodriguez faced the Cubs, he dominated. On July 19 at Minute Maid Park, he yielded one earned run over 6 2/3 innings in a winning effort.

Wandy Rodriguez vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for CHC
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
  No data, perhaps the minimum PA's are too high?
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Henry Blanco, Ronny Cedeno, Mark DeRosa, Jim Edmonds, Mike Fontenot, Kosuke Fukudome, Reed Johnson, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, Ryan Theriot, and Daryle Ward & Has not faced pitchers: Neal Cotts, Ryan Dempster, Scott Eyre, Chad Gaudin, Rich Harden, Bobby Howry, Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and Carlos Zambrano

As you can see above ,same deal here,Wandy Rodriguez has not faced most cub hitters this year,So this game may turn into a low scoring pitchers dual,obviously as we have seen Harden is Much more dominating then Rodriguez,Its anybody’s game today,Well most games are,whether looks decent for now,here is today’s whether report:

Sun and clouds mixed. A stray afternoon thunderstorm is possible. High near 85F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.

Looks like we will get today’s game in without any problem as far as the weather goes.


Cubs Sweep Brewers – Take Control of Central

July 31, 2008

Five days ago the Milwaukee Brewers caught the Cubs atop the NL Central. Five days ago might as well be five weeks ago when the Brewers were 5.5 out.

No one quite knows what happened to the “hottest” team since the All Star Break. The Brewers were riding a 8-2 record coming into the Cubs series…They were coming home…all things pointed to a hotly contested series that clearly favored the Brewers with CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets pitching the first two games of the series. Instead the Cubs romped through the four game set winning all four games while scoring 31 runs to the Brewers 11.

Today was the biggest outbreak of the series as the Cubs erupted for 11 runs led by Jim Edmonds two HRs including a grand slam to rack up five RBIs. Soriano and Fukudome added long balls as well. 

Rich Harden finally got some much deserved run support in notching his first victory since his trade from Oakland. Nine more strikeouts bring his four game total to 39. He has yet to allow more than one run in any of his starts since coming over to the Cubs.

Soriano blistered the Brewers pitching in this series going 7-16. Since coming off of the DL the Cubs have gone 7-2 while “Sori” has gone 12-35, 2HRs, and 8 RBIs. He has been a clear reason that the Cubs have been able to return to their offensive ways. Inserting him back into his customary spot at leadoff and in LF and getting everyone back into their normal routine has been just what the team has needed.

Next up for the Cubs is a three game set with the remains of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who in the last week has traded away Xaivier Nady, Jason Bay, and Damaso Marte. Easy on paper – but thats why they play the games. It is the first series of a nine game home stand and a stretch in which the Cubs play 22 of their next 31 at home.

Check back later for Out of the Box Game Notes and tomorrow for Pirates previews.


Cubs @ Brewers Series Preview

July 28, 2008

Many pundits are acting as if the winner of this series will go on to capture the NL pennant. Reality is, the winner of the final ten matchups between the Cubs and the Brewers will likely determine only who wins the division, and who gets the wild card birth.

I am not downplaying the signfigance of those coveted two spots in the “There’s Only One October” sweepstakes…The Cubs have been as close to unbeatable at home as you can get – But home field advantage has been eqaully as good for virtually the entire NL…in fact, only three teams the Brewers, the Cardinals, and the Phillies have winning road records. Among contenders, the Cubs have the worst road record at eight games below .500…but because of their home record being 25 games over .500, they own the best record in the NL heading into this series. The pressure to win the division and retain home field advantage throughout the playoffs is often the subject of the talking heads on BBTN, but in the year of the home team in baseball, I do not think it has ever been more prevalent.

We get three “nationally” televised games from this series..Tuesday and Thursday on WGN and Wednesday on ESPN. There are way to many story lines to covr for the series, which is why we wil be previewing each game individually. Looking ahead…here are the matchups for each game:

  • Game One: Lilly v. Sabathia
  • Game Two: Zambrano v. Sheets
  • Dempster v. Parra
  • Harden v. Bush

Game two – the matchup of aces Zambrano and Sheets should be the highlight of the series with Lilly v. Sabathia being a close second. The other two games clearly favor Cubs pitching, but this rivalry is beginning to turn into one of those Cowboys v. Redskins NFL games…No matter the strength or record of th other team, you can throw out the numbers and expect the unexpected.

Is Sabathia due for a letdown? 6-8 with a 3.83 with the Indians and now 4-0 with a 1.36 with the  Brewers? He isn’t going to go undefeated and pitch complete games every outing is he? We will check back in our preview later today.


Giants v. Cubs Preview

July 11, 2008

Clearly there are two highlights this weekend. The first is Saturday’s debut of Rich Harden. Harden (5-1) will be taking on Correia (1-5).  On paper it is not even close to being a contest. Going to love to hear the ovation for Harden when he is announced.

The highlight however will be Sundays matchup between Lincecum and the unbeaten at home Ryan Dempster. A matchup of 10 game winners…two dominating pitchers (well at least at home for Demp). Should be fun to watch. This is the last game before the All Star Break.

Cubs.com has in depth analysis of the series that you can read by clicking here.


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