Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: July 18th at Washington D.C.

GameCastRandy Wells (4-4, 2.72 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (3-4, 4.50 ERA)
Story-lines
The Chicago Cubs continue their charge toward second-half glory tonight in a match-up against the Nationals that could result in a series victory.  But that's not really the story.

For Cub fans everywhere -- many of whom have already raised the white flag -- it's more a story of continuing on the excruciating torture of a failed season for a team that's just too close to first place to give up.  Maybe it's like owning a really unreliable car.  After a while you probably just want to wail on it with a crowbar, and there's nothing that some people want to see more than the destruction and dismantling of the 2009 Cubs.

Sorry kids, it's not going to happen.  For good or for bad this team is too good to give up on and too bad to actually accomplish anything.  Go figure.

Who's Hot
Ryan Theriot - In his last 18 at bats he's hitting .333 with 3 doubles and 2 walks.  I'm still not sold on him reliably batting leadoff, but I think we'll all agree that he's been one of the few Cub hitters to actually exceed expectations this year.

Derrek Lee - And speaking of the other.  D.Lee is 6 for his last 14 with a two-run homer.

Jeff "I still don't know who this guy is!" Baker - He's batting .333 in his last 12 at bats with a double and 2 walks.  We'll take it!

Who's Not
Fukudome - Despite his 2 hits yesterday, Kosuke is only batting .154 in his last 4 games.  (That would be because his only hits in his last 4 games were yesterday)

Conclusions
Randy Wells suffered his first loss in a month the last time he pitched.  The point being that he's been one of the best pitchers on the team this year, and while the Nationals have some scary hitters I would expect a win tonight.

Then again, the Cubs are down 1-0 in the first inning ... that's probably not a good sign. 

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