Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gamecast: June 10th at Astros

Carlos Zambrano (4-2, 3.72 ERA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (5-5, 2.97 ERA)

Story Lines

Well, how about that? The Cubs found a way last night to beat a pretty bad pitcher into submission and not have to worry about the bullpen. It was nice for a change to go to bed and not have to worry about the outcome.

In an added benefit, the Cubs gained ground on both the Brewers and Cardinals to pull within 2.5 games.

Tonight the Cubs go against a lefty that has given them trouble. Wandy Rodriguez pitched six innings of 1-run ball way back on April 7 to give the Astros a victory. Wandy was quietly putting together a nice season, but has been roughed up in his last two outings.

The Cubs counter with Carlos Zambrano, who pitched very well coming off this suspension. With 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball, he lowered his ERA by about half a run last time out. Hopefully, he will follow that up with another strong outing against the woeful Astros.

In other news, Bruce Miles says the Cubs will send Jake Fox down to make room for Aaron Miles today. let me tell you, that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. My guess, and Miles agrees, is that Fox will make his way back when the Cubs play in AL parks. He'll probably split time with Micah Hoffpauir, depending on who pitches.

I'm about to run into class, so lets keep this short.

Who's Hot

Mike Fontentot - Mike went 4-for-5 last night with a HR and two runs scored. In the process, he raised his average to .249. We're getting there folks, and we just need Aramis Ramirez to get back, so we can stop playing Aaron Miles and the like.

Kosuke Fukudome - I love it when a plan comes together. I called out Fukudome last night, and he promptly responded with two hits, two RBI, and two walks. Now if that can work with Milton.

Geovanny Soto - I know it was just three singles, but he has to start somewhere.

Ted Lilly - The ace of the staff hands down right now. Randy Wells might have the great ERA, but Lilly's been doing it all year.

Who's Not

Milton Bradley - Milton went 1-for-7 last night. Oh wait....0-for-6, since the bat he broke doesn't county. He lowered his average to average to .208, and doesn't look close to breaking out of the slump.

Conclusions

Cubs win in a close one tonight thanks to a Carlos Zambrano hit. The Cubs have 3 of 5, and are improving. I really think we are on the brink of a big winning streak.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award