Gamecast (July 11, 2010) Cubs @ Dodgers
Cubs got a good win with a decent performance from Gorzelanny on Saturday. They finish off the pre all star break season with a prime time game on ESPN. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the Cubs "get" to play these get away games on ESPN on Sunday night just before the all star game quite often. Anyway onto the last game of the first half:
Matchup: Carlos Silva (100.1IP, 2.96ERA, 3.82xFIP) vs Vicente Padilla (47.2IP, 4.72ERA, 3.73xFIP)
Today is a much closer matchup than it appears on paper. Padilla has a really high K rate and has been hurt for much of the first half. He is actually a pretty good pitcher and the Cubs should play with that in mind. He does give up a lot of flyballs aned the key for the Cubs tonight is to get the ball up and over the wall against him.
As for Silva, he has given the Cubs more than they could have ever hoped for in the first half. He's nursing a leg injury but the Cubs have decided to let him go out and get a short outing tonight. I hope it doesn't blow up in the Cubs' face. Silva's key is the same as always. Don't allow too many hits. Try to fan around 2 every 3 innings and don't walk a second batter. Other than that, it should be all about the bullpen tonight. I expect to see Cashner, Marshall and Marmol even though they all pitched on Saturday.
Who's Hot: I don't think people realize how good Geovany Soto has been this year. He is, perhaps, the best hitting catcher in baseball. His power has returned almost completely back to 2008 levels. He continues to take walks like Eddie Joost and is even hitting for a somewhat BABIP inflated batting average. I don't expect him to wOBA over .390 the rest of the season but I don't see why he can't continue to wOBA over .365 or so. He's been awesome.
Who's Not: Why, oh why does Lou Piniella keep Ryan Theriot and Tyler Colvin at the top of the order. Colvin is a perfect #6 hitter and Theriot is a, yeah, ok so Colvin is a perfect #6 hitter. The Cubs need to bury Theriot deep on their bench and go to a full out Fontenot/Baker platoon at second base and possibly in the leadoff spot of the order. The lack of production from the 1/2 spots is hurting the Cubs. I love Theriot's spunk and thought he was a better defensive shortstop than the Cubs gave him credit for but he's falling off precipitiously and wasn't particularly good to begin with!
Conclusion: It would be nice to finish the season with a win. The Reds are scuffling at the moment and just got swept in four games in Phlly and the Cardinals haven't exactly set the world on fire this year so the Cubs still might have a shot in this week division. I don't think a loss is the end of the world though and we all need to philosophical about this game and this season. Still, a win would be real, real nice.