Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: April 18th - Cardinals vs. Cubs Round 3

Game Day!Ryan Dempster (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (2-0, 1.13 ERA)
Story-lines

In the first game, the Cardinals wielded a strong pimp hand against the Cubs. 

In the second game, it looked to be more of the same before Alfonso Soriano selfishly  hulked up in the 8th inning and hit a decisive game-winning homerun. 

In the third game, Cubs ace Ryan Dempster will take on Kyle Lohse, who is just one of many pitchers to have mediocre careers before coming to St. Louis where he went 15-6 last year. 

In the past 3 seasons the Cubs have pwned Lohse.  In 7 starts he's 1-2 against the Cubs with a 5.16 ERA, although he's pitched very well at Wrigley Field.

One way or the other, one of these two teams will be playing for a split-at-best after today's game.  My money would be on the Cubs if I wasn't opposed to gambling due to political reasons.  Nevertheless...

Who's Hot
Alfonso Soriano - He struck out 3 times yesterday, and walked not once, but a game-winning homerun will keep anybody in the hot column.

Derrek Lee - Since starting the year 2 for 25, Lee has gone 7 for his last 15.  Again, small sample size.  But Derrek seems to be able to still get hits after all, and so far this year 0 double plays.

Aramis Ramirez - after going 3 for 4 yesterday, he's up to .364 on the season.

Who's Not
Milton Bradley - Don't Wake will miss the next 2 games thanks to a supsension.  He's still only got 1 hit on the '09 campaign, a homer, and his slow start may be a reason for the occasional offensive druthers of the Cubs.

One other thought about Milton and his suspension-inducing strikeout.  Rob is right.  If you're in Milton's position, after the very first blown call your job becomes Defender of the Strike Zone.  Swing at anything and everything close.  I'm sure there was something in Bradley's brain that was screaming "you know you're right, it was a ball, so screw him and stick to your guns!  Only swing at strikes!"  (It's the same kind of mentality that causes a person to drive for half an hour in the wrong direction while lost ... once you start headed down that road, it's awful hard to turn around.) 

But what Bradley should have done was protect the strike zone and foul off the balls that looked close until he got one that was an indesputible strike.  Just my two cents on it.

Mike Fontenot - A 1 for 4 game yesterday is great, but he's still only batting .229 on the season.  Wake Up, Fontenot!

Conclusions
I like the Cubs' chances today.  Dempster seems to enjoy pitching at Wrigley, Lohse flinches like a battered spouse any time the Cubs roll into town, and the Cubs offense is starting to click.

Quick Links

Series Preview: Cardinals vs. Cubs
Game Recap: Cardinals 7, Cubs 4
Game Recap: Cubs 8, Cardinals 7

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