Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gamecast: August 12th vs. Phillies

GameCastPedro Martinez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 6.29 ERA)
Story Lines
The Cubs need a win. After a couple weeks of beating up lower foes, the Cubs have responded by going 1-4 so far against two playoff teams. In the process, the Cubs have lost 3.5 games in the standings and once again the whole Cub Nation is on edge wondering if the Cubs will ever win again.

Ok, so that's a little bit of an hyperbole, but you get the point.

This has all the markings of a great loss on paper. Pedro Martinez makes his return, and pushes back his Hall of Fame induction by one year. For the Cubs, Smardzija makes his first career start. Hopefully, this means Jeff heads to Iowa to become a full-time starter, and the Cubs stop jerking him around.

I'm not sure what to expect from Smardzija, but I don't have high expectations. Maybe he can give us 5-6 innings of 3-run ball. That would be great. Now, the Cubs offense just needs to find a way to score some runs.

Who's Hot
Jeff Baker - It looks like Baker's trip to Colorado really paid off. He's kill the ball to the pace of a .571 average in this last six games.

Milton Bradley - Bradley came up with the big hit to tie it last night, but a HR would have been better. He did have a double as well, so we are seeing a big improvement here.

Who's Not
Geovany Soto - Eh, Lou has to move him down or something. It looks like he is no improvement over Koyie Hill as this point.

Alfonso Soriano - He did have a sac-fly last night, but that was about it. Can we all chip in a few dollars and pay off his contract, because I can't take five more years of him out in left field.

Conclusions
The race is far from over, but time is starting to be an issue. The Cubs really need to stay within 1-2 games heading into September. Also, it looks like nobody is coming to help, so get used to this group.

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