Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Series Preview: Chicago Cubs at. St. Louis Cardinals

Cubs v. CardsMatchups
Overview

In celebration of the Cubs losing their first three game series of the season, I thought it might be appropriate to indulge in a bit of all-caps panicking.  To wit:

  • AGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!  CUBS CAN'T SCORE!!!!! PUT MICAH IN AT CATCHER!!!!!!!
  • AND SECOND BASE!!!!!!!!!!!
  • TRADE MILTON BRADLEY FOR THREE WEDGES OF BRIE AND A LIGHT BRIGHT!!!!!!!!
  • SANDWICHES!!!!!!!!!!

THERE. er, there.  That felt pretty good, right?  Right.

So yeah, the Cubs offense has been slightly worse than stagnant (repugnant?) these last couple of games, managing a mere one run and two walks in two games.  Granted, they faced two pretty good pitchers, but c'mon!  And to top it all off, their would-be-star right fielder is out for the foreseeable future and nobody seems to think he should go onto the DL.

Who's up for a bit more Hoffpauir gymnastics in the outfield?  Rock.

And so now the Cubs will roll into the deep south (too deep for my taste, anyway) and attempt to stop the greatest show on sod.  The Cardinals offense has been hot as a firecracker lately, with the always Ted Williams-esque Albert Pujols doing his thing and the curiously unstoppable Chris Duncan and Ryan Ludwick (and the most curious of the curious, Yadier Molina.  I mean, what the hell?) mashing the ball.  I'm fairly certain that the Cards won't end the season with three hitters OPS'ing over a thousand but, for now, it's a pain in the ass.

Alright, enough fear and pain.  The slump ends here!  The Cubs will rally!  Geo will get a hit!  Fontenot is a star!  CUUUUUBBBBBSSSSSS!!!!!!!

April 24th Ryan Dempster vs. Adam Wainwright

Dare I say that Dempster is proving the naysayers right?  Dare I say it?  DARE I?  Nah, I don't really dare.  I mean, it's only been a few starts and, hey, at least he has a lower ERA that Big Z.  His stuff still looks good (not that there was ever an issue with that), but his control has been quite spotty (always an issue).  We've got four more years of Ryan, so here's hoping it's just a rough start.  For the record, I think it is.

Hey look, another pitcher with good stuff and spotty control.  Adam Wainwright, if anyone can, should solve the Cubs walking woes.  Wainwright was solid but unspectacular in his last start against the Cubs, but that was the hot-hitting Cubs.  Who knows what your mid-to-late April Cubs can do.

April 25th Sean Marshall vs. Mitchell Boggs

Hey look, I totally got a prediction spot on!  I predicted that Marshall would be a bit rusty in his last start and not be all that impressive.  The result: 5 innings, three runs, and some wildness.  I'm frickin' Kreskin.  Marshall, yet again, has been off for awhile, but not for almost a month, so look for him to be a bit more in control.  He's a solid pitcher and I'm looking for a solid outing.  Thus speaks Jason.

Mitchell Boggs, Wade Boggs' father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate*, was less than spectacular last year, posting a ERA north of 7.  He's only thrown two innings this year, so he's unlikely to have too much in the tank.  In the past, this kind of pitcher would give the Cubs fits, but this is a more patient team and should have more success.  You know, in theory.  Ah, who am I kidding.  Kids like this still terrify me.

That and spiders.

(* may not be true)

April 26th Rich Harden vs. Todd Wellemeyer

Hey look, someone who I can say nothing but positive things about!  Harden is a freak of nature, striking out an amazing 26 men in only 15 innings.  And the stats don't even list how man women he might have struck out!  He's on pace for...calculating...8430 strikeouts in 145 innings.  That's very impressive.  I think that might even be a record.

Todd Wellemeyer, on the other hand, has been less impressive.  I think it's because he realized he's Todd Wellemeyer.  His control's been good but the hits, oh the hits!, they've been a-fallin'.  29 hits in only 17 innings!  Hey Todd, Bob Howry called and he wants his WHIP back.

Conclusions

And so the Cubs are facing yet another season-breaking series.  The Cubs are still only one game out in the loss column, so they're still not technically out of the race yet, but they're on the edge of the edge.  This is not a must win, I suppose, but it would be nice to have.  Or that's total crap and it's April.  I get a bit confused sometimes.

Note from Kurt
I'm always the one to tag on to the end of somebody else's hard work and take credit.  It's just the way I roll; you can thank me for the invention of the BK Triple Stacker. 

As noted in the GROTA ShoutBox - for which somebody has already learned how to turn into a website marketing ploy (tisk, tisk, don't make me burn you) - Lou Piniella woke up lucid today and produced a new lineup.

Ryan Theriot - who has been hitting everything in sight - leads off.
Kosuke Fukudome - who has been hitting that ball like a pimp who's owed money - bats second.
Alfonso Soriano - plays leadoff, acts cleanup - bats third.
Aramis Ramirez - Clutchy McClutcherson - bats cleanup.
Derrek Lee - still DP FREE! - bats 5th.

You know what?  It... it actually makes sense!  It is proof again that Dusty Baker doesn't manage the Cubs.  And while I'm unwilling to realign my support of Piniella based on one lineup, I'm shocked, pleased, and awed. 

Lou Piniella.  Well played.

Quick Links

Series Recap: Cubs 2, Cardinals 1

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Please God.

Ive been waiting A LONG TIME for this lineup. I hope to god it produces a ridiculous amount of runs. Not only to lead to a Cubs win, but also so Lou will consider using this lineup on a regular basis. Like you said Kurt, it JUST MAKES SENSE!!

I will be in the stands on

I will be in the stands on Saturday hoping to see the same lineup again. Who knows, maybe I will catch a 3 run homer from Soriano in the 1st inning! That would be cool...

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