Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gamecast: May 3rd Marlins vs. Cubs


Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 6.92 ERA) vs. Carlos Zambrano (2-1, 4.64 ERA)

Story-lines
Can the Cubs finally win a series, and a four-game one at that?
Can Ryan Theriot hit a third home run in as many days?
Can Carlos Zambrano be dominating on the mound?

These all things that I’m looking for as the Cubs try take 3-of-4 from the Florida Marlins. Well, maybe not the Theriot home run, but that would be really nice. After scuffling for over a week, the Cubs are back over .500 with a 12-11 mark. A win today, and the Cubs would have honest-to-God winning streaking heading into a two-game series against the Giants.

If the Cubs are going to compete, the Cubs need Zambrano to start throwing some dominating innings. He has pitched better in each of last two starts, and it would be nice to see that trend continue.

Who’s Hot
Ryan Theriot – as long as Theriot keeps hitting home runs and triples, he will stay on the hot list. The man’s on fire after he doubled his home run total from last season, on May 2nd no less. Call me crazy, but he just might hit three or four this season.

Mike Fontenot – Don’t look now but the other LSU grad has a 1.000 OPS in his last seven days. During that time he is hitting .292 with eight RBI. If anything good has come out his early season slump it is that Aaron Miles didn’t take the chance to take his job.

Zambrano – Big Z has four hits this week, including his first bomb of the year. He also has pinch hit in three straight games, which means his timing is ready for today.

Who’s Not
Aramis Ramirez’s calf – As nice as it has been to some Cubs hit better, we need to have Ramirez back in the lineup. From what I read it looks like tomorrow might be the day. I would rather see him sooner rather than later.

Milton Bradley – Not to beat a dead horse, but Bradley still hasn’t really started hitting. He is improving (he’s got 4 hits in his last 15 at bats). His average still stands at .128 on the season, but with a .320 OB. He didn't play yesterday, so maybe he is ready to bust out.

Conclusions
The Cubs are playing better, and it has translated into wins. Lets go out there today and get a third in a row. I won’t be able to catch today’s game, because I’m heading to the Braves game to hang out with friends. If there isn’t a recap when I get home, I will post one a little later tonight.

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