Gamecast: May 14th vs. Padres, Sweep Edition
Chad Gaudin (0-2, 4.08 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (2-2, 4.98 ERA)
The Cubs are looking for a sweep, which has been rare this season, but totally doable against the lowly San Diego Padres. If you can believe it, the Cubs are only .5 games back of the Cardinals for the NL Central lead. Of course, the Brewers also share the lead, while the Cubs are tied with the Reds (Is that possible?). The Brewers and Cardinals are in action today, and they actually play each other this weekend.
This afternoon also marks the return of Chad Gaudin (or Mr. Crazy Bread Face) to Wrigley Field. Gaudin was terrible in Spring Training, but the Cubs might be able to use him now. At this point, I'm pretty sure I would rather have a veteran rather than David Patton.
Can we stop giving up 2-run home runs to Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning? That is getting a little crazy.
For the Cubs, Ryan Dempster takes the hill once again for the Cubs. He pitched against the Brewers last time out and gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in a loss. He still hasn't been as dominate as last year. At times he has looked solid, but he hasn't been commanding his pitches. His main problem is leaving balls up in the zone, which has been translating into balls that are hit hard. It would be really nice to see him turn in a nice string of starts.
Ryan Theriot - Who cares about two nights ago? An 0-for-5, no big deal. Now, last night, that was the real Theriot. He blasted two home runs and is well on his way to 20+. Theriot is slugging .480 this season. Now, I don't think he will keep slugging that high. But a .400 percentage would career-high for a full season.
Kosuke Fukudome - He might be this season's biggest surprise. He's currently riding a 6-game hitting streak.
Geovanny Soto - Soto hit some balls real hard last night, including his first home run of the season. His average is up to .193. Hopefully he is coming out of the slump, because the Cubs really could use it with Aramis Ramirez out for a while.
Derrek Lee - While Soto is up to .193, Lee has fallen to .194 on the season. Not to mention, he looks totally lost at the plate. I wouldn't be shocked if Lee didn't see some time on DL, or at least get a break to give Micah Hoffpauir a few ABs.
Mike Fontenot - Maybe the Cubs are lucky guys like Ryan Freel and Bobby Scales are on the roster, because Fontenot is back in a slump. He's 1-for-22 in his last 7 games.
The Cubs are primed for a sweep if they can get to Gaudin early, and keep the offense going. I really feel like Dempster was moved up on regular rest to face the worse lineup, so it should mean a Cubs victory (I hope).