GameCast: May 15th - Astros v. Cubs RAINOUT
No Game today because of rain. The makeup date is July 30th. Check back tomorrow.
It wasn't so long ago that the Cubs were a 10-11 team on the cusp of mediocrity. A handful of dickish fans jumped ship, sarcastically informing us that the team was finished, the Cubs sucked, and wait til next year.
...on April 30th they were telling us that.
Since May 1st, though, the Cubs have gone 10-3. They are .5 games out of first place in the Central. They've outscored their opponents 75 to 53 and that's with half their lineup in a slump, that's with their best hitter on the DL, that's with half the bullpen looking like re-fried shiz with a "z," and with their ace pitcher on the DL for a gimpy leg.
So what's going to happen when they start hitting and pitching like they could?
Ryan Theriot - Theriot is currently second on the team with 5 homeruns. That puts him on pace to hit 24 this year assuming he avoids nasty 50-game supsensions and bizarre ligament injuries.
Bobby Scales! - Scales! has played in 6 games, gotten hits in each appearance, is batting .444 on the season, and 4 of his 8 career hits have been for extra bases. Did we mention he's a 31-year-old rookie? A couple more weeks of this and he just might play his way onto the team for the full season.
Reed Johnson - After batting .216 for the month of April, the resident SWP is batting .294 in May with 6 RBI.
Alfonso Soriano - An 0-fer against the Padres has dropped Soriano's average to .271 on the season. Then again, he's on pace to hit a Sosaesque number of homeruns. Imagine what this offense will do when he goes on one of his legendary hot streaks!
The Questionable Quartet - They've been doing better on the whole. Derrek has struggled since his neck tried to break, but I remain confident that they will have some good months ahead.
Starting with the Padres and continuing with the Astros, the Cubs have picked a good time to get hot. Neither San Diego nor Houston are real challenges, although the Astros have an annoying tendency to smack around Cubs pitchers.
More than anything the outcome of this game will be determined by the performance of Randy Wells. He's got a lot of reasons to pitch well, the foremost one being that if he does then he'll likely be bullpen bound once Carlos Zambrano returns from the DL.