Series (Pre) View...and the view isn't that pretty: Cubs at Colorado (July 30-August 1, 2010)
Well, I am a bit late on the turnaround with this preview due to a pool-induced bout with Jeff Baker temporary blindness syndrome. For the sake of not wanting to re-live the carnage of last night, I will instead treat this like a two game series and also fill you in with the most relevant Cubs-related trade news.
On the trading front:
- Carlos Zambrano is open to being traded and the Cubs have rejected a trade offer from the Mets for Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. All I can say is: thank god.
- The Twins, Yankees, Tigers and Dodgers have varying degrees of interest in Theodore Roosevelt Lilly. Last night, it sounded like Lilly was basically destined for LA according to various talking heads on local Chicago sports shows.
- The Diamondbacks have offered the Cubs Kelly Johnson in return for James Russell and Ryan Theriot. WHY HAS THIS DEAL NOT HAPPENED YET? Johnson is the arbitration eligible player I'd much rather have at this point.
- The Red Sox made a run at Sean Marshall a few days ago, but were quickly shot down by the Cubs.
I'll try to keep everyone posted about what goes down throughout the day as the trade deadline is my Christmas in July.
Now, back to the task at hand of looking at this series in the Mile-High City.
Tom Gorzelanny (6-5, 3.22 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (7-6, 4.34 ERA)
Tommy G is going to get the role of "stopper" today after that atrocious performance by the bullpen (again). It just seems like it's one of those deja vu weeks where we get the joy of watching those same bullpen implosions that really destroyed the team out of the gate. Since returning to the rotation, Tommy has been pretty damn good, going 4-0 with a 2.83 in five starts. I once again reiterate that the John Grabow trade will forever be tied with the Alfonseca trade in the "getting a much better piece as a 'throw in'" lore.
Hammel has had an up and down season. Hammel features a low 90s fastball, a pretty strong overhand curve, and a serviceable changeup. While Hammel started strong and had great success at the start of the season, he has been hit pretty hard lately. In his last three starts, Hammel has allowed 12 earned runs over 19.2 innings. Hammel does well when he keeps the ball down, because his career success has been snakebitten in the past by the long ball.
"Good" Carlos (10-4, 3.76 ERA) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (3-3, 5.15 ERA)
De La Rosa was supposed to be sort of the "co-ace" of the team this season before going down with a torn flexor tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand. Since coming back, his peripherals haven't looked all that great: 1.40 WHIP, 4 HR's allowed in 16.1 innings, and two losses in three starts to show for it. That being said, he is averaging a strikeout per inning. He is coming off a good start against the Pirates where he went seven innings and allowed only three earned runs.
Silva sort hit an epic roadblock in his momentum train the two starts before he faced the Astros, not making it past the 2nd inning in both of those previous starts. Those days are hopefully gone as now he has to resume being "good Carlos" with the fiery, anger-managed, trade-bait Carlos is back on the roster to be the ying to Silva's yang.
I am going to be glued to my computer and the television until the trade deadline passes. Hopefully, the Cubs will be vigilant and try and acquire some good pieces for the next few years while dumping some salary in the process. That Kelly Johnson trade would be a good start.
Oh, and as for the current roster? I honestly think we can take the next two games and win the series. De La Rosa was at one point a dominant guy for Colorado, but this season he hasn't been (also, it feels like he's been in the league forever...). Same goes for Hammel. Two wins are possible, boys, make it happen.