Series Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs, May 14-16
Reversing the fortune of last year, the Pirates now own the Cubs. At least when it was happening in Pittsburgh no one was there to witnesses it. Now the series has moved to Wrigley Field. The name of the game in Pittsburgh for the Cubs was no hitting and mediocre pitching. If today is any evidence of how the series will go, it's just gonna be mediocrity all around for the Cubs.
Friday, May 14, 2010- Tom Gorzellany (1-4, 2.83) vs. Brian Burres (2-1, 3.91)
Well, this one has already played out. Normally at this point I go on a rant about how the Cubs have screwed Gorz over by not giving him any run support. However, Tommy didn't really help himself out today and gave up 5 earned runs in five innings. Instead, I'll just talk about the guy that wrote the recap of the game on Cubs.com. His name is Bradford Dolittle. Seriously. I can't make that up. My day has been made.
Saturday, May 15, 2010- Ryan Dempster (2-3, 3.44) vs. Paul Maholm (2-3, 4.61)
As the "ace" of this Pittsburgh staff, Maholm is coming off of his worst start on the season so far. On Sunday he only lasted 3.1 innings and gave up 4 ER, after making it through at least six innings in his previous four starts. "Consistency" and "starting pitcher" usually aren't words used in the same sentence when talking about the Pirates, but Maholm is about as good as it gets for the ballclub. Like most pitchers, Maholm goes as far as his control will take him. Hopefully, his control will be all over the place as it was against the Cardinals earlier in the week.
Outside of his last start, Dempster has been a model of consistency. He was in line for a quality start against the Reds in his last outing before allowing a Joey Votto 3-R HR in the seventh. He finished the inning and ended up with seven strikeouts. Last time Demp faced the Pirates he was screwed over by the Cubs offense (this is the horse, this is the beating). Hopefully he can get back on the "quality start" train and the Cubs offensive woes will be forgotten.
Sunday, May 16, 2010- Theodore Lilly (1-3, 4.88) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (0-1, 3.00)
Ross "The Boss" Ohlendorf is a sinkerballer. He also is really, really smart as whenever he's in a highlight all the sports anchors want to do is talk about how he went to Princeton. In his senior thesis, he used sabermetrics to demonstrate the return a team got in the draft. Overall, he's one of those "innings eater" types that for some reason have the Cubs number.
Ted Lilly is a dangerous man. However, the fear he puts into men while walking down the street has not translated to the pitching mound... yet. Lilly had a fairly good outing last time out, sans an error by a certain franchise shortstop and a home run, and went seven innings. He wasn't really striking anyone out as he only tallied one on the day, but built on his previous outing. It would be nice to see Ted keep progressing and regain his form from last year.