GameCast: June 4th - Cubs at Braves Rubber Match
Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 4.22 ERA) vs. Jair Jurrjens (5-2, 2.59 ERA)
Rob may have been the one to point out how the '09 Cubs are looking an awful lot like the '04 model. They've got so much talent it makes you sick but various problems coupled with burn-outs mixed with a healthy dose of insane antics makes for a team that's hard to cheer.
Still, that doesn't have to be the story of the season. It needn't even be the story of June. But one thing that needs to change is how the team plays on the road. So far this year the Cubs are 10-15 outside of Wrigley Field, almost a mirror image of their 16-10 home record.
First, though, they actually need to play this game. Since there's a possibility of it being called due to rain before I hit "publish," this may be one of the make-up games the Cubs have later this season. Still, on the assumption of baseball happening...
The Gooz - He hasn't allowed a run since May 8th and he has turned into the most reliable pitcher out of the pen. I'm happy to have apparently been wrong about him as I would have voted him off the island back in March.
D.Lee - A .381 AVG in the past week is nothing to scoff at. Lee is still a ways away from being "on track" but at least now he's on pace to hit 22 homers, 33 doubles, and to drive in 77 RBI. Wait -- 77 RBI?! As he has only exclusively batted 3rd or 4th this season, I cannot emphasize how tremendously this can be used to example just how ridiculously bad the offense has been. 77 RBI. Sheesh.
Kosuke Fukudome - Well, "hot" might be the wrong word for it. More like "warm." Fuku is batting .286 with an OBP of .353 in the past week. He's slown down from his earth-shattering start, although I wouldn't scoff at his numbers.
T.Fonz - He's 5 for his last 28 with 9 strikeouts. Fonzie is a hot-and-cold kind of player. The only problem is that he's been exclusively cold for a while now. Lou needs to think about sucking it up and dropping him in the lineup.
Geo Soto - Although Geo is indeed slumping, and may indeed lose some play-time to Three Finger if Hill earns it, Soto exited May with a .278 AVG, a .376 OBP, and a .730 OPS. Not fantastic, although that puts him in the top 6 among catchers with as many-or-more at-bats as he had last month. Just some levity for you.
Maybe I should create the Carlos Zambrano Meter of Diminished Expectations or something. Probably not. Still, I'd expect a win tonight if the game gets played.