Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: April 12th - Cubs at Milwaukee Rubber Game

Game DayRyan Dempster (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Jeff Suppan (0-1, 13.50 ERA)

Story-lines
Admit it.  Considering that the Cubs are supposedly a much, much better team than the Brewers, it concerns you that the first 2 games of this 3 game set have been determined by a single run, scored in the 9th innings of both contests.  Aren't the Cubs supposed to be better than this?  Shouldn't they be dominating the poor pitching of Milwaukee?

Well, it's a long season, buddy.  Dempsters will sometimes play like Suppans.  Suppans will sometimes play like Dempsters.  Piniellas will make boneheaded pitching choices.  Bakers will make moves that would impress savants. 

Despite the closeness of the games, and regardless of how they're already a much better-on-paper team, it would actually be pretty impressive for the Cubs to win tonight.  Why, you ask?  Because the Cubs would then have won their first two serieses (seri?) of the year on the road.  Road dominance is a tough task for any team, and the Cubs would be off to a good start with a win tonight.

Who's Hot
Kosuke Fukudome!  I'm pretty sure Our Rob predicted 8 homeruns this season for Fooky.  If that's the case, then he's already 25% of the way there, having hit homer #2 last night in the 4th.  Fukudome is now batting .421 on the season following his 2 RBI performance last evening.

Alfonso Soriano.  A leadoff hitter he ain't.  But he is a slugger, and he has been winning games with his bat early on this season.  Last night was another example - the Fonz hit homerun #3, this time in the 9th inning.  It was the cap to an evening of battling back, as the Cubs were down 2-0, then 3-1, then 5-3, before scoring 3 unanswered runs in the 8th and 9th innings. 

Aramis.
  Clutchy McClutchison with the 8th inning bomb that put the Cubs within 1.  Rammy is now batting .333 on the year.

Ryan Theriot.  He's not exactly back in my good graces following the defensive miscues of the previous game, but Theriot is batting .563 on the year following another multi-hit game last night.  He also stole his first base of the season.

Who's Not
The Cubs #3 and #4 hitters.  The heart of the Cubs lineup has combined to go 3 for 38 this year.  That's a .079 AVG in case you were wondering.  It's pretty impressive, then, that Chicago is poised to exit Milwaukee tonight with a .667 winning percentage on the season.  We're all wondering it, and I'll ask aloud ... how long before Lou drops Derrek to 6th (where he belongs) and puts the Cubs best slugger (Aramis Ramirez) in the 3-spot?

Neal Cotts.  He's made 4 appearances, pitched 1.1 innings, surrendered 2 hits, walked 1, and hit 1.  He's also just about completely lost the trust of Lou Piniella who's not even leaving him enough rope to hang himself with. 

One thing is pretty obvious -- Lou is not pleased with his bullpen.  Just look at the way he juggles them.  The Cubs will either need to respond by giving him pitchers he trusts, or by forcing him to play with the hand he's been dealt.  Maybe he should spend a few weeks doing the latter before Hendry resorts to the former?

Go Cubs.

Quick Links
Series Preview: Cubs at Milwaukee
Game Recap: Brewers 4, Cubs 3
Game Recap: Cubs 6, Brewers 5

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