Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Series Preview: Cubs @ White Sox - June 25-27, 2010

The Pale Hosers come into this series having won 9 in a row. They just dispatched the formerly red-hot Atlanta Braves three games to none, so while the first few wins came against awful teams (like Pittsburgh – who the Cubs can’t beat), the last 3 wins were no joke. While the offense for the White Sox still probably isn’t good enough, the pitching sure has been. They’ve allowed 12 runs in the last 6 games. Also – the Cubs can’t score any runs. This could be a recipe for disaster. As bad as this season’s been for the Northsiders, I sure don’t know if I can handle a sweep at the hands of the White Sox. We’ll have to see what happens. On to the pitching matchups.

Friday June 25th: Carlos Zambrano (3-5, 5.10) vs. Jake Peavy (6-5, 5.07)
In 2008, this would have been a matchup of two of the best pitchers the NL had to offer. This afternoon, it’s a matchup of two overpaid guys with bloated ERA’s over 5. To be fair – both have been pitching much better of late, especially in their last starts. On Sunday, Z went 7 strong, allowing 8 hits, more importantly only walking 1, in getting the victory. The game was a laugher, a 12-1 win, the last time the Cubs scored more than 3 runs – and Z could have got the win even if he’d pitched poorly. It was good to see him bear down, and pitch like the Zambrano we gave the big extension too. Peavy had an absolutely disastrous start to the 2010 season. His last time out he fired a 3-hit shutout against the Nationals. Apparently his fastball had more life in that game, and his stuff is hands down better now than it was 6 weeks ago. If that continues, he’s gonna beat the Cubs today.

Saturday June 26th: Carlos Silva (8-2, 3.01) vs. Freddy Garcia (8-3, 4.85)
Silva got his start pushed back a couple days due to injury, so he gets matched up tomorrow evening against Sweaty Freddy..an exciting matchup over beefy Venezuelans who 12 months ago were thought to be completely washed up. Now both of them have 8 wins and are doing a solid job of holding down spots in pretty decent rotations. This baseball, it’s a crazy game, huh? Silva was supposed to start against his former teammates in Seattle, but the injury that knocked him out of his last start against the Angels got him pushed back. Last time out, Garcia gave up 3 runs in 7 innings. In his last 5 starts, Garcia has failed to go at least 7 innings only once. This will be the Cubs best chance at a W, if Silva’s healthy and effective after the hamsting issues.

Sunday June 27th: Ryan Dempster (5-6, 3.56) vs. John Danks (7-5, 3.23)
Dempster had one bad inning in Seattle, allowing a 2-run homer to Franklin Gutierrez, and that was it – but it was enough in a 2-0 Cubs loss. Dempster’s been solid all year for the Cubs, and he’ll need to continue that on Sunday against the lefty Danks, who’s been real good for the Pale Hose in 2010, lightyears better than he was last season. He’s allowed just 6 HR in 14 starts and his WHIP is a tidy 1.17. He beat the Braves on Tuesday in his last start. We’ll need a combination of good pitching and hitting to beat Danks.

I’m feelin the Cubs dropping 2 of 3 here. Picking us to win Saturday is the easy call…so I’ll say Z comes up big today, and we snap the Sox’ winning streak at 9, but then drop the 2 weekend games. You guys feelin the love?

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