Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: April 19th - Cardinals vs. Cubs CANCELED

Update: This game has been canceled.  A very special Series Recap will be published either late tonight or early tomorrow.

Todd Wellemeyer (1-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Ted Lilly (2-0, 3.86 ERA)

The first meeting between the Cubs and Cardinals has been everything it was billed to be.  We've had one frustrating loss and two down-to-the-wire games decided late by big homeruns.  We've seen the failure of our starting pitchers and of their bullpen.  We've witnessed timely hits, cutting defensive plays, and so far the Cubs have two wins to show for it.

Today's game, then, is pretty important.  These teams are tied for first in the Central.  And who knows - a Chicago win today just might be the moment where they pull ahead and stay that way for the duration of the '09 season.  Unlikely, but not impossible.

Who's Hot
The Cubs offense ...
Soriano.  .292 on the season.  5 homeruns, 8 walks, .393 OBP and 1.039 OPS.
Fukudome.  9 of his 15 hits have been for extra bases (3 homers, 6 doubles).  He leads the team with 9 walks.  His AVG is .375; his OBP is .480; his OPS is 1.230.
Theriot.  .400 AVG, .468 OBP, 3 steals in 4 tries.
Ramirez.  .333 AVG.  3 homers, 11 RBI, one Clutchy McClutcherson moment.
Lee.  .381 AVG in his last 5 games, 0 double plays and counting.

Who's Not
... except for Soto, Fontenot, and Miles
Soto.  2 for 19.  On the bright side, he drew 3 walks yesterday and he doesn't appear to be pressing in order to compensate for his crappy bat skills.
Fontenot.  His .222 AVG is bad.  (Duh.)  His .364 OBP and .725 OPS, not too bad.  He'll straighten out.
Miles.  At least Mike's direct competition for second base isn't exactly setting the field on fire.  Mr. Aaron Miles is 2 for 15 with a .369 OPS.

As a team the Cubs are batting a mere .258, but their OBP is a spectacular 101 points higher.  There are other teams out there with better OBPs so far, but only 3 have actually drawn more walks. 

On the pitching front, it's been very hit and miss with the Cubs.  But Ted Lilly in his last outing was mostly miss for his opponents.  He probably won't throw another 1-hitter today, but I anticipate him having another good outing. 

And wouldn't it just be a perfect start to 2009 for the Cubs to take 3 of 4 at home from their rivals?

Quick Links
Series Preview: Cardinals vs. Cubs
Game Recap: Cardinals 7, Cubs 4
Game Recap: Cubs 8, Cardinals 7
Game Recap: Cubs 7, Cardinals 5

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