Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Series Preview - Cubs vs. Giants

Series Preview
matchups
Overview

I don't understand what's going on.  The bright, shiny lights and three game win streaks, they hurt my head!  Where am I?  Is that a strained hamstring?  Where are my pants?

Yes, it may seem like a dream, but fear not.  The last three games were real as pudding.  Yes, you really did see Theriot hit homers in back to back games.  Yes, and perhaps more importantly, you did see Lee crush two balls on back to back days.  And yes, in between those two homers, you did boo Lee.  I'm not sure about that one, but I think you're just an idiot.

It's a brave new world!  Unicorns and rainbows and win streaks!  Sandwiches!

None of it matters, of course, as the St. Louis Cardinals have the division all sewn up.  Or do they?  I present to you three scenarios that could propel the Cubs from second-dwellers into first place.

  • Isiah Thomas looks to be wearing out his welcome in Florida already (well, it has already been two weeks) and might be looking for a new job.  Give him a month as skipper of The Greatest Team on Earth and I give you a fourth place team.
  • Lure Pujols into the Democratic party.  His team will alienate him, he'll pull into his shell like a frightened turtle, and those numbers will fall faster than a brick in a barnyard (doesn't make sense?  Let's see you write metaphors at 6 am.  Or was that a simile?)
  • Swine Flu (too soon?)

And with that, what will the Cubs have to do for their part?  Let's move onto the matchups to find out.

The Matchups

Jonathan Sanchez vs. Ryan Dempster - I'd say not to let Sanchez's low 2 era fool you as he posted a 5+ era last year, but that'd be risking a jinx.  No, I prefer to let you know that Sanchez is off to a hot start (that hit rate is totally sustainable) and the Cubs will be lucky to get to him as the Cubs always struggle against young pitchers.  Blah blah blah. Rinse.  Repeat.

Dempster, on the other hand, has been just as bad as his numbers (5.40 ERA) suggest.  His control has been spotty and he's getting knocked around pretty good.  Other than that, though, he's been great.  Don't worry, folks, we've got three and three quarters years to find out which Dempster is the real Ryan Dempster.

Tim Lincecum vs. Sean Marshall - How about we just don't have to face Lincecum this series?  I don't see any real need for it. 

Lincecum got off to a slow start this season, but in his last two starts he's been stellar.  Lincecum is sporting a brilliant strikeout rate (43 in 30 innings) and has been keeping the walks down pretty well.  In fact, there's nothing wrong with his stat line.  He doesn't even give up homers.  For once, I'm glad I'll be at work and miss this game.

But hey, we've got our new ace on the mound: Sean Marshall.  Marshall has been decidedly awesome recently, culminating in his 7 inning, one run gem in his last start.  Marshall will be facing an impressively bad lineup and should be able to take advantage with his mix of curves and changeups away, so I see a pitcher's duel in the offing. 

Conclusion

This series has split written all over it.  Not literally, of course.  That would just be silly.  But still.  Split.

Go Cubs.

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