Ted Lilly (1-4, 4.30 ERA) vs. John Ely (3-1, 3.41 ERA)
Well, Chad Billingsley gives up a ton of hits, but the Cubs can't make him pay. That result leads us to the rubber match today.
Today, the Cubs will trot out Roosevelt again to face the Dodgers. I read something about the Dodgers not playing well against lefties, but that wasn't case last night.
Derrek Lee - It's nice to see D-Lee get hot. He's got 2 HR in his last six games with a .358 average. Hopefully, he's ready to take off and lead the Cubs on a run.
Carlos Marmol -This hot report comes from Bruce Miles:
Marmol had faced 99 batters, striking out 46 of them. That means he has struck out 46.4 percent of the batters he's faced. For a whole season, that would be a major-league record. The existing mark was set in 2003 by Eric Gagne, who struck out 44.8 percent (137 of 306) of the batters he faced.
For the season, Marmol has pitched 23.2 innings, striking out 46 batters. That's 17.49 per 9 innings. His record is 1-0 with a 1.52 ERA, and he has his WHIP down to a tidy 1.14.
Needless to say, Marmol's hot right now.
Tom Gorzelanny - I think we found the person that is not going to be in the rotation after Big Z makes his return. It looked like he was really pressing and it didn't. He could make a nice innings-eater for somebody in contention. Maybe the Tigers?
Marlon Byrd - We all new he had to cool off and he finally has for the free swinger. He's going to have to prove that he can walk to keep seeing good pitches. His .217/.143/.360 OBP/SLG/OPS is not promising.
I would be really happy with a 2 of 3 in the this series with the Cardinals coming into town. So, enjoy the early baseball and go Cubs!
Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.73 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 3.23 ERA)
The Cubs face a Dodger team that has been on a roll tonight. The Dodgers were multible games back just a week ago, but have gained four games in their past 10 to close within a game of the surprising San Deigo Padres.
Kershaw, a lefty, has the stuff that usually baffles the Cubs. So, it will be interesting to see if the Cubs can manufacture some runs in tonight's game.
Dempster has pitched well this season, but has been plagued by a lack of run support and the long ball. He's already given up 8 HR's this year and he is well on his way to matching the 22 HR's he gave up last year.
The Cubs are in one of those gray areas of the season. They either get hot and make a run or it could be over in a few weeks.
Tyler Colvin - Wow, he's one fire with five hits in his last eight AB's. He won't get a start against Kershaw tonight, but maybe tomorrow against Chad "The Buzzsaw" Billingsley.
Xavier Nady - After a slow start, Nady has turned things around somewhat. It will be interesting to see how "PT" he gets in the next couple of weeks.
Aramis Ramirez - He's hurt and looks done. Has there been somebody this bad, this quickly? He's 0-for-13 in his last five games and probably won't play for a few days.
John Grabow - What's the over/under on Grabow coming up with a injury that places him on the DL for a few weeks? I'm going with 7 days. Your thoughts? Anyway, he's sucked with a 10.13 ERA with 22/3 innings pitched.
The Cubs would be lucky to take two of three. If they do, it sets up a nice series against the Cardinals this weekend.
Randy Wells (3-2, 4.13) vs. Derek Holland (2-0, 2.38)
Randy Wells heads back to the mound hoping for better run support than he's been provided recently, or better than what the Cubs provided Theodore Lilly last night. In his last start Monday night against the Rox, Wells went 6 2/3 strong, but Grabow predictably shit away the lead in the 8th, before some 11th inning Aramis Ramirez (??) heroics landed the Cubbies a W. Speaking of Ramirez, he's back in the lineup tonight after a sore thumb has limited him the past couple games. Problem is, he's DH'ing. This bothers me. If he's not healthy enough to play 3rd, then I don't want him DH'ing. I'd rather see someone like Tyler Colvin in the lineup instead. What's wrong with Colvin in LF and Soriano DH'ing? That seems to make more sense. But instead sore-thumbed and limp-batted Aramis will be back in the middle of the lineup to continue his season long funk. Eff that.
Opposing Wells will be Derek Holland, a young lefty who had a very up and down rookie season in 2009. After dominating in AAA to start the season, the Rangers called up Holland a week and a half ago, and he's rewarded that call with 2 good starts. We'll see if that continues tonight.
Starlin continues to rake even though he can't seem to find a consistent spot in the lineup..having batted 8th, 2nd, 7th, and 9th in the last 4 games. His average on the season sits at .365, and that one miserable game aside, I've been 100% in favor of the kid's play. He's exciting, and any reason to get excited about the 2010 Cubs (read: Not Bullet Bob Howry) is a good thing. Also hot has been the starting pitching. We've seen a string of nice starts in a row, and having Wells continue that would be terrific.
Derrek Lee: 2 for 19 his last 5 games. It's been a bad season honestly. At least he's still drawing walks.
Geo Soto: 2 weeks ago, Geo was hitting .362. Today it's .280. At least he's still drawing walks.
That's it from here. As usual, I'd sure like a GD win tonight. Anyone else still alive and quasi-optimistic out there? I'd love to know I'm not alone.
Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.65 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.68 ERA)
I'm so excited and I just can't hide it! Bob Howry is making his comeback with the Cubs. I loooovvvee it! Well, maybe not love, but can he be worse than John Grabow? I guess they can be equally as bad and that is the problem with the Cubs.
The Cubs find themselves five games back today and ready for interleague play. It will be interesting to see how Lou handles the lineup, but I guess that Xavier Nady and Tyler Colvin will at least see a start or two. The Cubs could DH Alfonso Soriano and let Colvin play left, or just let Xavier Nady play. I'll try to update when the lineups are released.
Who's Hot (Night Edition)
Starlin Castro - He loves the night to the tune of a .393 average.
Mike Fontenot - He's hitting .371 with a .909 OPS.
Aramis Ramirez - Not surprisingly, but Ramirez is only hitting .132 at night.
Derrek Lee - Again, not shocking, but Lee's hitting .188 under the lights.
Interleague play is novality, but it is here to stay. I would like to see the Cubs in all the American League parks at some point. So, at least until I hit my last seven ballparks.
Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.29 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.49 ERA)
I give up. I just can't figure out this team out to save my life. One day they can't hit or play defense. The next day they run off four in a row against quality teams. They beat the Rockies and Phillies, but can't beat the Pirates. This really is disturbing to me as a fan.
Today the Cubs go for their second straight mini-sweep, before they fly off to Texas for some good ole interleague play against the Rangers.
Dempster toes the rubber for the Cubs. Last time out he was a hard-luck loser against Pirates. Blanton, on the other hand, gave up five runs in seven innings and still got the win. It doesn't seem fair that we judge so much by wins and losses for pitchers.
Surprisingly the Cubs are only 4.5 games back in the central with plenty of baseball ahead. Of course, I'm not sure I want to see Bob Howry join this club, which I didn't know was an option. Didn't we already see that show? Now, if they want to hire him as a bouncer in the bleachers, then I'm all for it.
Starlin Castro - Last night we saw the future. In the 8th inning Jason Werth hit a ball in the hole and Castro makes a great throw to get him by a step. There is no way that Ryan Theriot makes that play, and the Cubs could have lost the game. By the way, he's hitting .364 in his last six games.
Xavier Nady - Huge hit last night and he's got three his in his last nine now. I was little shocked to see Baker play right last night, but I guess Baker hasn't played in a while and they needed to get him some AB's.
Geovany Soto - He's as cold as ice. Soto is only hitting .143 lately and is not helping.
Esmailin Caridad - In his comeback, Caridad pitched a 1/3 of an inning and now is heading back to the DL.
Special Mention to Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and John Grawbow - All have played below expectations, but have shown signs of breaking out.
The Cubs are a confusing team, but I like the wins as of late. Hopefully, they can finish off the Phillies and roll over the Rangers this weekend.
Carlos Silva (4-0, 3.40 ERA) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (2-1, 2.66 ERA)
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT:
The Cubs go for a sweep and three wins a row tonight.
It's crazy to think about, but the Cubs have actually won two in a row with last night's dramatic win over the Rockies.
First off, Carlos in the pen is just crazy. The Cubs need to trade a starter and pick up some value. If they want to keep Gorzelanny, then they have to let Ted Lilly go.
As for Byrd, I love his hustle and his bat. He might want to work on the predictions. Hey, at least he is doing something.
Hendry, I just don't have enough strength to give a quality reponse to this question.
Aramis Ramirez - I was in bed when he hit the home run, but hey Clutchy might be returning.
Randy Wells - He worked out of trouble from what I saw in the first few innings, including two huge strikeouts with the bases loaded. Wells is the type of pitcher every team needs.
Derrek Lee - Another rough day for Lee. Maybe today will bit a little better.
John Grabow - Just when you thought he might be pitching better he goes and gets wild again. Grabow is the perfect example why Jim Hendry shouldn't be retained as a GM. These deals for bullpen arms have been terrible.
It's nice to be winning again. Maybe the Cubs can get on a serious roll heading into the Philly two-game series.
Randy Wells (3-2, 4.27 ERA) vs. Aaron Cook (1-3, 5.80 ERA)
I usually like to look at some of the news around the Cubs world to discuss, but there really isn't anything of note to discuss.
Yesterday, Lou went off and the Cubs picked up a win. So, I guess it worked this time. But will it last? This team isn't really built to win it seems. Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly and Mike Fontenot/Ryan Theriot are probably will be dealt if the Cubs can find something that will help.
Thanks to some odd scheduling, the Cubs face the Rockies today and tomorrw, before heading to Philly on Wednesday. The Cubs are still 5.5 back thanks to the Dusty Baker's Reds sweeping the Cardinals. Just Nuts!
Derrek Lee - Well, it took long enough for Lee to heat up. But he did hit .375 this past week. Thinks are better, but he only had two RBIs and no HR.
Alfonso Soriano - He continues to get knocks and is hitting .331 on the season with 7 HR's. Not too bad, but it's too bad the Cubs can't win.
Geovanny Soto - Soto leads the team in OBP, but is not hitting in his last week. He's only 3 for his last 20 with no RBIs. Everybody is going to be up and down, and right now Soto is down.
Ryan Theriot - He's not looking great since Castro came up. He's three for his last 17 with no walks. No wonder Lou sat him on Sunday, because he has done nothing other than K with a tying runnin on third base.
As we all get ready for the last 3.5 Hours of lost, we will try and get through this week of Chicago Cubs baseball.
Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.88 ERA) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (0-1, 3.00 ERA)
There really isn't much to say, but the Pirates own the Cubs. So far it's 0-5 this year for the Cubs. There really isn't much to say, other than to enjoy some time outside with the family or go to a movie.
It really looks like the Cubs will making more trades for the future, rather than for this year.
Enjoy the game today and hopefully the Cubs will turn things around real soon.
Tom Gorzelanny (1-4, 2,83 ERA) vs. Brian Burress (2-1, 3.91 ERA)
The Cubs are 15-20 at the moment and still are just 5 games of back of the Cardinals. We have seen worse Cub teams in our history, but we have seen better teams as well.
This would normally be the moment where the Cubs would use a stretch a game against the Pirates to start a win streak. Well, that's all fine and good except the Cubs are coming off being swept last week by the Pirates.
Gorzelanny has been hurt by a lack of run support and that has really been the cause of his 1-4 record. He's struck out 36 in 35 innings of work.
Burres dominated the Cubs on May 6th, so hopefully the Cubs are better this time around.
Alfonso Soriano - He's good when he's hot and Soriano is on fire. He has seven hits in his last five games with a .950 OPS.
Starlin Castro - He's hitting .364 so far and looks to be pretty comfortable at the plate.
Tyler Colvin - The Cubs really need to find him at bats or let him play everyday down in Iowa. He's got one hit in his last five at bats, of course it was a home run.
The Cubs are bound to run off a stretch of good baseball. I vote it starts today with the Pirates and the Cubs roll to a nice winning streak.
Carlos Silva (3-0, 3.50 ERA) vs. Chris Volstad (3-2, 4.12 ERA)
Today's form of the Gamecast will be in madlibs form, because of time and lack of quality material to talk about.
Once again the Cubs were 1.______________ to come up with the big hit. Randy Wells was 2.___________ by the long ball.
Today the Cubs will 3.______________ on the final game of the series. The hitters are taking 4._____________ batting practice to help 5._____________ runs.
The pitchers will 6.____________ the Marlins from scoring runs. The defense will 7._______________ 8.__________ and 9._______________ defense.
10._____________ - is showing promise or at least is not as 11.______________ as Aramis Ramirez.
12._________________ is 13. _____________ so bad it might be time to 14.___________________.
15.______________________________ (Give a phrase here).
Post your answers in the comments and we will try and post the best one at some point.