Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: September 6th at New York

With real content to come later ... probably with the game half over by then:

GameCastRandy Wells (10-7, 2.90 ERA) vs. Mike Pelfrey (9-10, 5.03 ERA)

Story-lines:
Happy birthday Derrek Lee.  The newly-turned 34-year-old had a huge day yesterday, two days after the birth of his most recent child (that he knows of).  Lee's production of late is admirable, although it really symbolizes the season in many ways -- the Cubs have often had a hot hitter, but rarely have they had more than one at a time.  And while it's possible for a Derrek -- or, traditionally, an Alfonso -- to carry the team with his smoking hot bat, theoretically the other players should be more than capable of winning without that guy who's batting .450 the past week with 4 homers and 10 ribbies.  But that hasn't been the case in Chicago this season.

On the mound for the Cubs today is Randy Wells, a guy who should be mentioned more often when people talk about prospective Rookie of the Year candidates.  There are really only three guys in competition with him -- Chris Coghlan, who's batting .309 with 9 homeruns for the Marlins, Dexter Fowler, a switch-hitting center fielder with a great OBP and a number of steals, and the likely winner J.A. Happ, the reliever-turned starter for the Phillies who is presently 10-4 with a 2.77 ERA.

As cool as it would be for Randy to win the award, it's not exactly as if the Cubs have had a ton of ringing long-term success with their recent Rookie of the Year winners.  So, not so big a deal.

Who's Hot
The Afore-Mentioned Derrek Lee - He's 8 for his last 18 with 1 double and 4 homeruns (that means 50% of his last 8 successful contacts left the park) and a ridiculous 1.667 OPS.

Jeff Baker - He's batting .429 in his last 6 games.  It's about time the Cubs could count on a second baseman.

Who's Not
Pretty much every other starter on the Cub. Fukudome, Theriot, Ramirez, Fox, Soto, Hill, Fontenot ... all batting under .200 the past week.  Quitters.

Conclusions
Win, lose, just look pretty doing it, baby!

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