Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gamecast: April 12, 2010 - Brewers at Cubs (Home Opener!!!)

GameCastDoug Davis (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (0-0, 1.50 ERA)

Overview
The Cubs try to right the ship after a fairly disastrous 2-4 stretch to open the season.  Quite honestly, with as much that has gone wrong in the first 6 games, they should be happy with that 2-4 mark.  The bullpen has more or less been a trainwreck, the hitting (and moreso clutch hitting - depending on whether you believe such a thing exists) has been putrid, and even the defense has been shaky.

Ryan Dempster was one of the bright spots of the road trip, going 6 strong innings last time out, in a game where the team desperately needed that kind of outing following Zambrano's season-opening debacle.  Demp struck out 9 last Wednesday, but we know how that one ended, courtesy a John Grabow meatball to Chipper Jones.

The Brewers come into Chicago with a 3-3 mark, having split their first 6 games, all at home.  The last of those games was an 8-7 win over the Redbirds last night in a game that went well past 10:00PM local time.  Obviously, it's not a long trip from Milwaukee to Chicago, but with only 14 hours between games, and a commute sandwiched in there..perhaps they'll be sluggish today.

Doug Davis is one of those pitchers that always seems to give the Cubs fits.  He works at a Trachselian pace, and those patient (ahem) Cubs hitters don't do well with slow pitchers.  Plus, he's a junk-balling lefty...add it up and you have a recipe for success against the Cubs offense of late.  Davis has a career 9-6 mark with a 3.20 ERA against the Northsiders, including 2 gems last year.

Who's Hot
The Cubs starting pitching - 5 nice starts in a row, stretching back to Dempster's start last Wednesday.  The Cubs could really use that mark to head to 6 after this afternoon.

Who's Not
Good God, take your pick.  Soriano can't catch or hit.  It can't be this bad permanently, right?  Grabow continues to show that he can't be trusted in high leverage situations.  Problem is, who outside of Marmol and Marshall (and he might be needed in long relief) can be?  The 4-5-6 section of the lineup had a TERRIBLE series in Cincy.  They need to wake up, stat.

Conclusions
Not sure why, but I feel good about this one.  I think the bats wake up, and we see a lot of runs scored on both sides today, with the Cubs getting a much needed win.

Keep the faith.
-MW

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