Series Preview: Cubs @ Diamonbacks. Arizona, Yee Haw!
Well game one is in the books as we, the writers at the vestible that is the Goat Riders of the Apocalypse Chicago Cub weblog have failed to provide an adequate series preview up until now. I guess it's hard for all of us, including me, Mr. Happy Talk (the Anti Rob??... That Jim Haley guy should fuckin' love me! Oops) to keep the passion for this team going in this crappy year. Of course, I am trying to keep it in perspective. As I keep telling myself (because no one else believes me!), the Cubs are a better team than they have shown so far.
Well, they adjourn to the heat of the desert to lock horns with the snakey team called the Phoenix (er Arizona) Diamondbacks. Our favorite team has escaped with a victory in the first matchup so I will discuss the next two:
Game 2: Carlos Silva vs Barry Enright
Silva should have made the all star team but in reality, he's lucky that he's still in the starting rotation after all this time. He should still be able to stay successful for some time. Silva is, in my opinion, testamount to the genius of Larry Rothschild. He has learned a new pitch, started throwing his breaking balls more and let the chips fall where they may.
Amazingly, he is still doing well even in terms of his peripherals. He is categorized as a ground ball pitcher and he has a high ground ball rate but he's hardly Tim Hudson. But his K/BB ratio is sitting at an astounding 4.47/1. You have to work hard not to be successful when you're K'ing close to 4.5 times as many batters as your walking. Silva should be good the rest of the season and I wonder if the Cubs could find a trade partner. I think it's possible that he's lifted his value enough that the Cubs might be able to get a decent prospect and some salary relief for 2011
As for Enright. He's making his second start. He is 24 and was repeating Double A this year with some success so the struggling D'Backs decided to jump him over Triple-A and right on into the majors. Now, he's a rookie, so he'll probably no hit us. I hope not. The Cubs will probably find themselves in a low scoring game here.
Game 3: Ryan Dempster vs Edwin Jackson
One of the reasons why I find it hard to completely give up on this team is that I never think they are that far behind in any pitching matchup. I see no reason why they sholdn't win this game. Dempster has been awesome, yet again this year, and he is also testamount to the genius of Mr. Rothschild in my opinion. You know his story but one thing to look for is when Lou pulls him. He's been leaving him in about 2 or 3 batters too long this year for some reason. The Cubs bullpen has been doing better lately (outside of games where they play the Reds) so I hope that will change for Mr. Piniella.
As for Jackson, yep, the Cubs bashed his head in in Wrigley Field back on May 2 but he's really turned it around since then and has added a no hitter to his resume. I think the Cubs might be able to get to him if we are patient. I'd love to see patient hitters like Soto, Fukudome and Fontenot (as opposed to Theriot) in this game. Let's see how the Cubs play this.
Conclusion: I'm not going to lie. I pretty much think we're done for but I'm hoping for a bunch of wins in a row. As I've said before there is no reason the Cubs can't put a string of wins together. The pitching is just too good for the team to be this bad. Hopefully this is the start a winning streak.
Oh and BTW, Jim Haley, I concur with Kurt. Choke on it!