Series Preview: Cubs @ Cardinals (Aug. 13-15, 2010)
Last weekend the Reds swept the Cubs, and then the Reds turned around and got swept by the Cardinals. So by that logic, the Cubs are in for a bad, bad weekend against the Cardinals. I actually think it will turn out that way. Its the northsiders first trip to Saint Louis this year, and we're coming in at the wrong time as the Cards are hot and the Cubs are terrible, having lost 13 of 15. Fontenot has been shipped out of town..who's next? Maybe we can trade Nady to the Cards and he can just switch dugouts like Font did? We'll see what happens, but I think we're gonna get swept.
Friday: Thomas Diamond (0-2, 8.00) vs. Jake Westbrook (0-0, 3.46)
Diamond was just about as awful as he could have been last time out on Sunday against Cincy. He didn't have good stuff, his command was all over the place, and he was quite hittable. He was out of the game early, and the bullpen got overworked as a result. We'll see if things are different tonight. Even in his first start Diamond was hittable, despite striking out 10. With Samardzija pitching well in AAA, and Jay Jackson warranting a look, Diamond probably doesnt have that much rope to work with here. Westbrook has been pretty solid in his 2 starts with the Redbirds. I saw some of his last outing against the Marlins, and he looked like Jake Westbrook, against lesser quality hitters. He was a nice get for the Cards.
Saturday: Carlos Zambrano (3-6, 5.46) vs. Chris Carpenter (13-3, 2.89)
Speaking of bad pitching performances, Z turned one out in his first start since being reinserted (again) into the rotation. He made it threw 5 innings, and only allowed 2 runs, which on the surface looks good, but it wasn't just what was on the surface. He walked 7, struck out only 3, and had awful command. His sinking fastball, which used to just be one of his pitches, was about the only thing he threw in tight counts. And instead of it being 94/95 like it used to be, it rarely got to 90, usually working in the 88-89 range. Maybe he's still building arm strength. We'll see Saturday. I'd love to see some more velo. Carpenter's been a stud this year again, and despite him being a dick a lot of the time (did anyone catch him berating Aaron Miles on Monday?), he's still a damn fine pitcher, unlike Z - who's a dick a lot of the time and isn't a damn fine pitcher anymore.
Sunday: Ryan Dempster (10-8, 3.66) vs. TBD
It's not definite yet, but it sounds like Kyle Lohse is gonna be hauled up from rehab to take this start for the Redbirds. He had a pretty shaky start against Omaha, but rebounded well and pitched 7 strong on Tuesday. He's been pretty awful in his MLB time this year. On the other side, Dempster's been easily the Cubs best starter, and he pitched well enough on Tuesday night in the Bay to earn his 10th win of the year, tying Heart-Condition Silva for the team lead. If there's one pitching matchup that favors the Cubbies, its clearly this one.
Despite the Cubs being awful, the Cubs/Cards series is still fun for me. I still really look forward to it, and this weekend is no exception. Go Cubs! Play Wellington Castillo over the awful Koyie Hill please! Get Darwin Barney some time too!