Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: May 5th Giants vs. Cubs

GameDay
Tim Lincecum (2-1, 3.16ERA) vs. Sean Marshall (0-1, 3.32ERA)
Story-lines

Two consecutive wins is nothing.  Three is a trend.  Four is a streak.  And five?  Five is usually the start of something special, which is exactly what the Cubs are playing for today.  Lawd knows they have their problems.  Shall I outline them for you?

  • No, I shall not.  You already know all about them.

But despite those issues, the Cubs have the potential to continue to play well.  I particularly am looking forward to watching the team play with an actual backup third baseman on the roster - BOBBY SCALES! - and my fingers are crossed that the 31-year-old rookie will play well enough to warrant a tough decision by Hendrinella at a later date. 

For me, the interesting subject of now and the future is the gameplay of the Questionable Quartet.  Fittingly, all four have begun to show the signs of shaking out the cobwebs - Lee, Fontenot, Bradley, and Soto all had big games in the last series against the Marlins.  Maybe it's not a coincidence then that, at last, the Cubs are playing like a winner.

Who's Hot
Koyie Hill - 9 for his last 24, Hill's batting .375 in the past 7 days
Ryan Theriot - Geezus, what has Theriot been drinking?  Before this season Theriot had never hit more than 3 homeruns in a season, be it his 134 at bat season in 2006, or his 537 at bat season in 2007, or his 580 at bat season last year.  In fact, before the start of this season TheQuietRiot had 7 career homeruns.  He's well on his way to doubling that total having hit 3 longballs in the past week alone.  Cherish this moment Cubs fans, because for now Theriot is on pace to hit 19.
Mike Fontenot - It would be somewhat petty of me to remind you that Mike Fontenot will never be as good as Mark DeRosa.  So far this year, DeRo is batting .241 with 5 homers, 19 RBI, and a .738 OPS.  Meanwhile Fontenot is now batting .266 with 5 homers, 14 RBI, and an .852 OPS.  I'll take the younger one that bats lefty, although now that Lil' Babe is producing, people are now expressing the ridiculous wish that DeRo was the team's first baseman rather than DeePee.
Angel Guzman - I appear to have been wrong.  In his last 7 appearances, Guzman has had an ERA of 3.12.  Not exactly stellar, but for a long reliever it's pretty damn good.

Who's Not
The Chicago Bullpen - While Guzman has found balance to his season, Carlos Marmol, Aaron Heilman, Dave Patton, Jeff Samardzija, and Neal Cotts have come undone.  The Cubs pen looks horrible right now, but as somebody who recently took a stand to say that the lineup couldn't be as bad as they appeared, I will do so again now and say that the bullpen can - and will - turn things around.

Kosuke Fukudome - He's still doing better than the Questionable Quartet, but Fuku's last week has been, er, weak.  In his last 24 at bats Fukudome is batting .250, although he's hit a homer and has 5 RBI in that span.  I suspect it's nothing to panic about.

Conclusions
Four is galore but five would be ... a hive?  Eh, I dunno.  I'm pretty impressed with the Giants pitching but a Cubs team that stays patient, works the counts, draws walks, and gets epic homeruns from pantywaste shortstops is pretty hard to beat.  Today's game should be a good one.

Quick Links
Series Preview: Giants vs. Cubs
Game Recap: Cubs 4, Giants 2

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