Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gamecast (July 23, 2010) Cardinals @ Cubs

I try not to harbor the irrational, emotional hatred of teams like the Cardinals that is so common among Cub fans all over the web. The Cardinals are just another team. Their fans are annoying as heck, but still, I respect and even like certain members of their team. I actually covet Adam Wainwright (who we will not be facing this weekend) and see him a future Cub after the 2012 season. I do think this is a series that the Cubs could win. In order to do that, they need to win today.

Today's Matchup: Jeff Suppan (61IP, 6.05ERA, 5.25 xFIP) vs Randy Wells (4.33ERA, 3.72 xFIP)

Holy crap. You know this team the Cubs and their fans are so scared of? They are extremely top heavy. They have 3 really good starters and then dreck at the back end of the rotation. They got damn lucky with Jaime Garcia (who the Cubs also won't be facing this year) because other wise, they'd be Wainwright/Carpenter and pray for a Tornado. Jeff Suppan is terrible. He's extremely hittable and he shouldn't be in the majors anymore. The Cubs have so much more depth at starting pitcher than the Cardinals, it isn't even funny.

As for Wells, he's been very very good this year. How good? He's 11th in the NL in xFIP. The pitchers in front of him encompass a who's who of #1 starters in the NL (and Hiroki Kuroda, who knew?). He has a better xFIP than Chris Carpenter. Also Ryan Dempster, Cole Hamels, Jaime Garcia, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsly and so on. He's a well above average pitcher who has had an awesome sophomore season. We should appreciate him more than most of us do.

Who's Hot: I see no reason why Geovanny Soto should be sat in this weekend's series. There are no day games after night games and he got most of Wednesday's game's off along with an off day on Thursday. Soto has a .408 wOBA at the moment. He doesn't qualify for the percentage leader boards but there are only 5 players who do qualify that have a higher wOBA than Soto. Five. Here they are:

Justin Morneau
Migeul Cabrera
Josh Hamilton
Joey Votto
Kevin Youkilis

That's it. Soto should be hitting cleanup or third on the Cubs. He is not just one of our better hitters, he has been our best hitter this year. By a lot. The Cubs should be looking for a spot in the lineup when he's not catching. He should be playing first base or thid base, whichever. He is all the way back and in a just world, he'd be a very serious MVP candidate.

Who's Not: Ryan Theriot has stopped walking and while he never really had much power, he is taking singles hitting to a new and amazing level. Theriot now only adds value to the Cubs if he's hitting .320. I'm totally serious, Theriot at .300 is rather mediocre. So far, in July, he's hitting .268. I'd rather have Darwin Barney. If I were the Cubs, I'd be strictly platooning Fontenot and Baker. It's a perfect platoon and I'm shocked that the Cubs haven't employed it this year.

Conclusion: There are no "must win" games this year but I want this series. I want the Cubs to crush the Cardinals this weekend. I know they aren't going to sneak back into the race but I don't care. I root for the Cubs to win and I think they can beat the bejesus out of Jeff Suppan. I also don't believe a sweep will preclude the trade of Ted Lilly, who is the #1 trade chip the Cubs have. So let's get it done boys!

Couldn't agree more with

Couldn't agree more with everything you've said here.

At least Fontenot and Baker have hit home runs to their names; hopefully, Theriot is traded before the deadline and the Cubs give a Bakernot platoon a real shot.

And if the Cubs don't bring Lee back, Soto could be a solution at first, especially later in his career.

Bakernot? Bakernotâ„¢.

Bakernot? Bakernotâ„¢.

Blame it on the Curse

I'm sure we annoy you Cubs fans plenty, but I believe it has to do with the fact that we (Cardinals) have had such great success over the years, and especially in the last decade, whereas you Cubs have had huge disappointments even in your best recent years, and of course the whole 102-year drought thing. Those two very different histories make us Cards fans sound smug and obnoxious when we think we are only teasing you guys; and conversely even your actual angry talk doesn't bother us much because your team hasn't been able to back up your talk. It's like the little brother that hates the big brother's teasing, whereas nothing the little guy says even phases big brother.

I suppose my pointing this out sounds smug and obnoxious to most of you, but I actually don't mean it to. It would be a LOT more fun if the Cubs were in the position of the Reds this year. Even though I generally pull for whoever is playing the Cubs, I simultaneously dream of the possibility of the Cards and Cubs playing for the pennant some year. THAT would be putting all the chips in the pot, eh?

As I post this, the Cubs are beating the Cards 5-zip in the opener, so my smugness is currently in check...

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