Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Series Preview: Chicago Cubs at. Houston Astros

Cubs @ Houston
Match-ups
Overview

Ahhh, another two game series, another chance to predict a split. 

The Cubs leave Wrigley for friendlier confines, leaving behind a handful of boos and a locker room full of broken hearts.  Everyone from The Shark to DLee felt the razor sharp tongue (BOOOOOO) of the (BOOOOOOOOO) dissatisfied (BOOOOOO) fan (Boo) base (...boo...).  I mean, no reason for them not to boo.  The Cubs were about to lose a game...after winning four straight.  But totally, anytime you feel the least bit dissatisfied during this 162 game season, you should boo.  Perspective is for the weak.

Alright, enough of the boo talk, let's get onto some quick hits regarding your Chicago Cubs

  • Yeah, as Kurt pointed out, Fukudome's being hitting around .250 for the last week or so, which is quite a step down from his the lofty level of play he's established early on (BOOOOOOOOOOO).  That being said, he still looks really good, the hits just aren't dropping.  Plus, the walks are still there.  My big concern's going to be if his power goes away for a prolonged stretch, which would signal the return of Fuku v2008.
  • Cubs, as a team, have an 85 OPS+ at Wrigley and a 108 OPS+ away from home.  No wonder the boo birds have been raining down (BOOOOO).  Cubs: don't like to be cold and wet.  Me: not blaming them.
  • In an inverse of the flip side, the Cubs pitchers have a sub-4 ERA at home and a super-5 era on the road. 
  • And you're surprised we're basically a .500 team?
  • GET MY PLAYERS HEALTHY!!!!!
  • (okay, they're not my players)
  • (I don't have any players)
  • (I wish I had a pet monkey)

Onto the matchups!

Wait, what the hell?  Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz? What is this, the greatest hits of 1999?  Somebody fetch me my Smash Mouth t shirt.  Hey look, the Phantom Menace is coming out!  That's going to be awesome!

What's a Jar Jar?

Wednesday, May 6th - Rich Harden vs. Mike Hampton

I suppose if this was 1999, Hampton would have a ERA a little bit closer to 3 (or 4, for that matter) and a bit less of the suck.  It seems that he's finally done with The Contract of Insanity and can start anew with whatever the going rate is for a crappy, old lefty who was dumb enough to try to make a go of it in Colorado and say he career wash out.

Harden, on the other hand, is completely awesome.  He's just had a case of the up and downs and there's been a bit more down than up so far this year.  But I'll take 13.5 strikeouts per 9 innings...I'd just like Rich to pair that with a WHIP that's closer to 1 than it is to 2.

Tuesday, April 28th - Ted Lilly vs. Russ Ortiz

And Russ, remember 1999?  When you had the 18 wins and a career on the upswing?  That was awesome.  Do you wish it was still 1999 and you idn't know the secret ending of the Sixth Sense? 

Ortiz has seen better days (not surprising, given this post, they were in the late 90's) and Houston has now picked him up and is watching as his career winds down.  Ortiz used to be a fastball curve pitcher, so I'd guess he's now he's a mediocre fastball/mediocre curve pitcher.

Oh yeah, and Russ?  Don't bother to see the Matrix 2 or 3.  It's just...just don't.

Ted Lilly, on the other hand, is in full career upswing.  He's working on his first Cy Young season and, if he can get around the lefty-killing Carlos Lee, he'll get right through this Astros lineup.  Lilly has a WHIP just south of one and a K:BB ratio better than 4.  Niiiiiiice.  Of course, he also has an ERA of 9 on the road and 0.42 as home, but nothing cures a case of the road blues like the Astro's lineup.  Look for Lilly to slice and dice and devour the Astros hitters.  And I mean that 100% literally.

Conclusions

I said that I would predict a split, but it's so hard to believe that a couple of pitchers who peaked when Britney was still hot can take down two of our best pitchers.  But still, I'm the guy who calls "Edge" for every coin flip.

Sorry kids, the tea leaves say split.  But expect the Cubs to get cheated out of one of these games. 

Go Cubs.

Quick Links
Series Preview - Cubs v. Astros April 6-April 8
Series Recap: Cubs 2, Astros 1

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You know what, I laughed at a

You know what, I laughed at a lot of the 1999 ref's in this one. Nice going. My personal favorite:

"Hey look, the Phantom Menace is coming out! That's going to be awesome!

What's a Jar Jar?"

nice work

yeah nice work jason! I'm so embarrassed that I have to say that smash mouth was one of my first cd purchases...also cubs will win both of these games and will be in first or tied for it by this time next week. I don't know about yall but I just get the feeling that with Z down the rest of the starters are going to buckle down. It's pretty nice only being 2.5 games out with all the stuff/players that went down in april.

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