Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gamecast: Brewers at Cubs, August 2, 2010

Yovani Gallardo (9-5, 2.77) vs. Randy Wells (5-8, 4.10)

Welcome to the battle for third place.  It's a lonely front, filled with disillusion, disgust, and general indifference at times.  However, it's still baseball.  This means that I will be avidly watching to root on the Cubs despite the dismal record.  Now it just means I will be more keen to watch my fantasy players.  Speaking of which: after being written off as a complete loss last year and all but having his effigy burned all over Milwaukee, Corey Hart has net himself a 3 year, $26.5MM extension.  Good for him.  Maybe now he can afford some type of facelift/surgery to make him not be the most awkward looking player in baseball.

The pitching matchup should be an interesting one at least.  Gallardo came off the DL last week and faced the Reds with results that were Silva-esque.  El Chupacabra allowed 5 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings and struggled from the get-go.  That being said, Gallardo is a damn fine pitcher and it likely won't be the same story tonight.  Wells is 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA with 16 punch outs over the span of 3 starts and 19 2/3 innings.  His last start in Houston was uncharacteristic as he issued five walks over the 5 2/3 innings he was on the mound.  I expect this result to turn around as well.

Who's Hot- Blake Dewitt.  In his debut in a Cubs uniform, Dewitt went 3-for-4 (against a lefty no less) and tallied an RBI in his first at bat.  While I need a lot more convincing that he could be decent piece for the future, I am hoping his beautiful swing can produce good results under Jaramillo's watchful eye.

Who's Not- The final spot in the rotation.  Silva's exit, although health related, is his third early exit in 4 games.  I get that we are likely bottom-dwellers of the division this year, but it'd be nice to see some more stability in the rotation.  Hell, even a pissed off Carlos Zambrano provides more stability on the mound that Silva and his lack of conditioning.  My vote is keep Diamond in the rotation and slot Z back in the rotation to let him work out the many, many wrinkles in his game right now. 

I don't know what else to say, and my last "prediction" went horribly awry.  Hopefully the rivary juices keep flowing, and the new-look Cubs bring their A-game and play competitive ball.  You're auditioning for next year boys... fight for my favor.  EDIT: Here's what tonight's lineups look like:

Weeks, 2B
Hart, RF
Braun, LF
Fielder, 1B
McGehee, 3B
Edmonds, CF
Escobar, SS
Lucroy, C
El Chupacabra, P

Colvin, RF
Castro, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Byrd, CF
Soriano, LF
Soto, C
Dewitt, 2B
Wells, P

It looks like Soto's cleanup gig is up with Ramirez back in the lineup.  Outside of that, this seems to be Lou's "well, I've used it before and I forgot to fill out a lineup card today" pick.  Just had to cross out "Theriot" and put in "that new young fella we got from that one team."

Game kicks off in a half hour.  Enjoy.

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