Ted Lilly (6-4, 3.50 ERA vs. Derek Lowe (6-3, 3.49 ERA)
Oops. I guess I got distracted plotting Cubs 101 stories from now until October. My bad (at least my forgetfulness occurred in service of the blog).
After suffering yesterday's heartbreaking loss, the Cubs take on the Braves again without the apparently overwhelming pressure of delivering Randy Wells his first big league win.
As Rob bravely noted earlier, this Cubs team needs to stop screwing around or else risk being mediocre all year long. The only problem is that, for a bunch of reasons we haven't seen the real Cubs yet. They've either all been slumping, or battling various injuries, or turning to ridiculously bad relief pitchers who waste uniform fabric.
I will note that, as of this belated writing, the Cubs offense has enjoyed the first strike thanks to a Fontenot double. But until Lou really shakes up his bullpen a 2 run lead means nothing.
Mike Fontenot, Derrek Lee, Reed Johnson - the Cubs offense has been a lot of hit and miss all year long, but lately they've mostly been hit. That hasn't guaranteed victory by any stretch though on account of the "who's not" category.
Geovany Soto, Kevin Gregg, Aaron Heilman - Soto will be sitting for a little while which will be fine with some people (Rob in particular). Three Finger Hill has been pretty effective in limited play anyway. Gregg and Heilman, meanwhile, appear to have caught whatever it was that had infected Neal Cotts. They need to be used differently or -- dare I say it -- outright cut.
With Lilly on the mound, and having scored first, the Cubs should have a decent shot at winning. But for the time being no lead is safe. It's way too early too call the season over or anything, but it's also way too early to really believe in this team. They've got a lot to prove.
I didn't say it, because I didn't think you could apologize a jinx away. As it turns out, the Cubs didn't need my help in giving this one away.
You know what? We damn well SHOULD win every one of those games. We have guys in the 'pen capable of getting six outs when working with that sort of margin.
We got EVERYTHING we could ask for from this team: seven strong innings from our young starter Randy Wells (he's ACES, isn't he?); home runs from two of our veterans; five runs total from our occasionally inept, consistently inconsistent offense.
We got EVERYTHING--except six outs from a 'pen given a five-run lead.
Whether Marmol stays in the set-up role and Gregg keeps closing, or Lou changes the order in which they're brought out, the fact is, we're going to need BOTH Marmol AND Gregg to pitch a heckuvalot better in the near future if this team's gonna start winning consistently at any point.
Unfortunately for tonight, the result looks like another variation on a common theme from the 2009 season thus far.
Just a few weeks ago, the offense was the problem. So of course it makes sense that, just as the bats start to look like they're getting hot (aside from Soto, who had his bat taken out of his hands at a pivotal point in the game), this happens.
Oh yeah, and "Don't Wake Daddy" (so named because he'll probably pull something if you startle him) strained his calf running out a grounder.
I guess we should try to end on a positive note. Umm... Randy Wells is awesome? Seriously, Wells just keeps rolling. He deserves a ton of credit for giving this team a chance to win each night he's started. I look forward to his next start. Let's get him an effing win sometime soon, huh?
It seems it was only yesterday that the Braves were the bitter nemesis of the Cubs. Not that there was a long-heated rivalry or anything, but it really burned our asses to watch a Greg Maddux in his prime square off against the Cubs and often own them. These days that bottom-burning has passed, although this series remains a fairly important one with some implications.
Two .500ish teams at a cross-roads, vying for control of their own destinies and the chance to seize a playoff spot in the near future. The only problem is that they are headed in opposite directions (at least in theory). After slipping, stumbling, and eventually being held down and beaten, the Cubs have managed to rise up and win 4 out of their last 6. Meanwhile the Braves have lost 5 out of their last 7. I'm sure Cub fans everywhere are pulling for Atlanta to continue the downward spiral, although the bad news is that they took their beating on the road. They may be a different -- and harder to defeat -- team at Turner Field.
This marks the 5th start this season for Randy Wells. Project his numbers to a full 32 starts and we'd be looking at 200 innings pitched, 176 hits surrendered, 56 walks allowed, 184 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.80, and a record of 0-16. Surely something must change.
Considering how poorly Sean Marshall did his last outing, and how quick things can change on the grand stage of Major League Baseball, then it seems likely -- nay, inevitable -- that a continuously successful Wells may usurp Sean for the 5th starter's spot once Rich Harden returns. This probably wouldn't be the worst thing in the world since the Cubs currently have 0 reliable lefty relievers in the bullpen, but it's still a little premature to assume that it will happen.
Reed Johnson - in the past week he's 8 for 15 with 2 homeruns and 6 RBI. He's gone from a cold backup outfielder to being so hot the Cubs may scramble to find a position for him in the immediate future.
Mike Fontenot - yes, it's true. Lil' Babe Ruth is batting 6 for his last 18, or .333 with an OPS of .924. He's not out of the woods yet but it's not too late for Fontenot to have himself a respectable season with the Cubs.
Ryan Theriot - Joining Johnson in the .500 club, Theriot has gone 8 for his last 16 although he's in a homerless spell. The powerful shortstop has had something like 56 at bats since his last homerun. Seems to me that he's overdue.
Milton Bradley - 6 for his last 15, Bradley is another guy batting .400 with an impressive 1.060 OPS. If he's finally gotten comfortable then the Cubs offense is going to really heat up in the month of June.
Jake Fox - I'd be lax if I failed to mention that the newest former Iowan is 3 for his first 7 with a double and an RBI. It would be refreshing if he actually played at a high level all year long.
Alfonso Soriano - If it's true that the Fonz can single-handedly win baseball games with his bat, then it must also be true that, as a lead-off hitter, he can suck the life right out of a team if he's cold. Soriano is 5 for 25 with 9 strikeouts in his last 6 games.
Bobby Scales! - Et tu, Bobby? Scales started out by making up for lost time upon his first call-up to the majors, but he's already showing signs of struggle. In the past week he's a .182 hitter, even though 1 of his 2 hits was a homer.
Realistically, Wells is not a 1.80 ERA pitcher, but he's also overdue to win. Kawakami, meanwhile, is mediocre at best. Considering the Cubs have been playing well and the Braves have been mehdiocre lately, this is an ideal time for Randy to win.
So, in the venacular of the South ... git 'er done!
The Braves come into today's action sporting a pathetic .500 record. LAME. If only they knew what it was like to be one game above .500. If only they could soar as we have. Feel the wind in their hair.
But alas, of their starting outfielders, not one has an OPS above .652. That makes for a rough time. The Braves for 10th in runs scored and, conveniently enough, 10th in runs allowed. The Cubs, on the other hand, are...oh. They're 11th in runs scored. But hey, they have a chance to jump a spot. They'll just use their 6th ranked pitching to hold the Braves down and beat on them with their consistently warming bats!
Speaking of consistently warming, a few positive trends. Over the last week...
- Bradley is hitting .400 with a 1.060 OPS.
- Fontenot is hitting .333 with a .927 OPS
- Theriot? .500 with a 1.056 OPS
In other conveniently select sample sizes, Lee hit .313 with a .955 OPS in the month of May, Angel Guzman had a 1.64 ERA in May, and Dempster had a 3.76 ERA.
In June, expect even more superlatives. This team is the team to beat and eventually their luck has to even out and things have to start looking up. They're the best team in the Central. Now they just have to show it.
Tuesday, June 2 - Kenshin Kawakami vs. Randy Wells
According to mlb.com, Kawakami has a flat fastball and had poor control, so he focused on throwing first pitch strikes in his last outing. And mlb.com also says that an aggressive team could take advantage of this.
I wonder if the Cubs read mlb.com?
Randy Wells has yet to struggle in the big leagues, with the possible exception of the first two innings of his last start. His strikeout rate has been solid and his control excellent.
Oh yeah, and he hasn't gotten a win yet. Sad days for K-Fed.
Wednesday, June 3rd - Ted Lilly vs. Derek Lowe
Lilly was, yet again, excellent in his last start. He did yell any umps, he didn't beat the Gatorade, and he didn't allow more that one run. These are all key ingredients to a win.
Lowe has pitched at least seven innings in his last sevens starts and has one fewer than seven wins on the season. Lowe also has seven fingers and sevens toes* and the first two numbers of his ERA add up to seven. When the apocalypse comes down, you might want to hang by this guy.
(* maybe not actually be true)
Thurday, June 4th - Carlos Zambrano vs. Jair Jurrjens
As usual, Carlos grabs the series' marquis matchup, taking on the man with the funky name. Carlos is just coming off a suspension (went fast, didn't it. Did you even notice?) and, wouldn't you know it, lands the guy with the 5-2 record and 2.59 ERA.
Is Jair Jurrjens the best kept secret in the NL? Did I spell his name correctly? And how the hell am I supposed to say that name? Answer to all these questions, and more, when we return.
Okay, we're back. I still don't have any answers.
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It never really seems as if the Cubs have a ton of roster turn-over, but when you consider that perhaps two Cubs remain from the 2003 playoff team. And while a good handful of those Cub-turn-duds have gone on to retire and coach high school baseball (or open up their now-bankrupt car dealerships) a bunch of our favorites are still kicking around the league in some incarnation or another. Since it's a slow news day, let's take a look at the interesting teams from '98 to '01.
Heroes of the '98 Cubs
There appear to be only two active players in all of baseball who were a part of the legendary '98 squad. Those are...
Kerry Wood - Funny how, after the fact, Wood's career's nosedive doesn't sting as much as I thought it would. When he arrived in the majors we all probably thought he was going to be the next Nolan Ryan. After a while we probably would've settled for the next Rick Sutcliffe. But these days Wood is neither. In fact he hasn't even really been a successful closer since heading to the AL Central. 20 games into it he's got a 6.00 ERA and only 8 saves. Then again, while I don't feel stung by his inability to turn into what we were hoping for, I do miss him. He was Mr. Cub.
Justin Speier - Like Kerry Wood, Speier has turned into a pretty reliable reliever over the span of his career. He's been pitching in Los Anaheim for the last three seasons, with his best stretch coming for the Jays from '04-'06 when he posted an ERA of 3.18. Then again, his sum experience as a Cub was 1.1 innings of work in which he surrendered 2 runs. Does he even really count?
Remnants of the 2001 Near-Miss Cubs
Maybe they aren't as "near-miss" as I'm implying, but the '01 Cubs were a lot of fun to watch for a long while. They had Sammy Sosa carrying the offense more than ever on his enhanced back muscles along with Kerry Wood's triumphant return from injury, not to mention the temporary win of the Fassero-Farnswoth-Flash bullpen trio. Eight years later, the following remain...
Matt Stairs - When he came to Chicago fans called it proof that the Cubs weren't really trying. His .820 OPS that year wasn't so bad, though. Since then he's gone on to play the role of, well, roleplayer for a number of teams and at the age of 41 he's considered a valuable asset to the Phillies, who he won a championship with last year.
Ron Coomer - Just kidding. That guy sucked.
Gary Matthews Jr. - Hey, maybe Sammy didn't use steroids because if he did then he failed to share wth Gary. Matthews Jr. didn't get his share of HGH until he went to play in Texas where he had a .313, 19 HR, .866 OPS season which landed him a contract that paid him more than 9 million last year. Regrettably for the Angels, he's reverted to his Cub-like numbers and leaves a lot to be desired.
Augie Ojeda - The little man with a big heart was out of big league baseball for two years before returning to the Diamondbacks, where he fittingly burned the Cubs in the post season that year. He appears to be Arizona's go-to bench guy and, at the age of 34, remains well-loved. Note to self: if only I'd been dwarf-like in size people would've loved me.
Miguel Cairo - He played 66 games for the '01 Cubs in his second tenure in Chicago. Still, since then he has also been Ojedaesque in playing the essential backup role for a number of teams. This year he's played with former teammate Matt Stairs on the Phillies, although they were apparently smart enough to demote his ass a couple of weeks ago after his 2 for 17 start.
Corey Patterson - Shockingly, he's not in the majors right now. I call that "shocking" because he plays for the Nationals organization. But Washington and their 13 wins are apparently still too good for Patterson to occupy a big-league roster spot, which says a lot about a guy who was heralded as "the next Willie Mays/Ken Griffey Jr./etc." when he first was drafted by the Cubs.
Jason Smith - Smith's experience as a Cub consists of striking out in his only at bat. A career .212 hitter, Smith has spent time in 2009 playing for Houston, where he has gone 0 for 25.
Julian Tavarez - If we could summarize Tavarez with a single phrase, it would be this: batsh*t crazy. We knew this when he was a Cub nearly a decade ago. Looking at his Baseball Reference page it's somehow comforting to know that we're not alone in this ... the Sons of Sam Horn (a Red Sox forum) sponsor his page because, in their own words, "he's bats*%# crazy." At least he's consistent, even as he loses his mind in Washington where he has a 5.40 ERA in 20.0 innings of work.
Tom Gordon - Amazingly, this guy -- who played with arm problems for years -- remains a big league pitcher at the age of 41. Fittingly, though, he's on the DL. I loved Gordon as a closer in '01, even though he was hurt a lot, but I never would have guessed that he'd not only keep pitching for the next 8 years but would actually post a sub-4.00 ERA while doing it. Kind of amazing.
Kyle Farnsworth - Speaking of amazing, it's kind of shocking to see just how many relievers from the '01 Cubs team are still pitching to modest success. Farnsworth is the next on the list. He's presently with the Royals, where he has a 3.57 ERA -- and is down to only two STD's.
Juan Cruz - Joining Farnsworth in Kansas City is Juan Cruz. When he was a Cub we all thought that he'd be The Next Pedro and we had dozens of debates about whether the Cubs should deal him or this other young, erratic rookie named Carlos Zambrano. (Apparently we didn't feel that the Cubs could keep both; I don't know why.) Cruz was never the next Pedro but he has been a good middle reliever and is presently pitching with an ERA of 3.97.
Dave Weathers - Seriously, what was in the water of the '01 Cubs bullpen? (Never mind, I don't want to know.) Weathers, who I recall as having hated Chicago during his brief stay, has been pitching relief in Cincy for the past five years. He's even spent time closing there, saving 60 games over the span of three seasons.
Will Ohman - Joining the list of still-pitching Cubs middle relievers is Will Ohman. He pitched in 11 games for the '01 Cubs, posting a 7.71 ERA. He then vanished into arm-injury obscurity for the next three years before returning in 2005 to become a fairly reliable middle reliever. (Compared with that dick Neal Cotts he was a godsend.) Ohman is presently a Dodger, where he has a Cottsesque 5.84 ERA.
Carlos Zambrano - I still remember the first-ever appearance of Carlos Zambrano. I actually took notes. (Why yes, I am a dork.) He came in and pitched relief against Milwaukee where he displayed a wild fastball with amazing movement. Of course, he gave up 7 earned runs in his 4 inning debut, and he wouldn't pitch in the majors again for about a month, but I had no doubt that he had potential. I didn't realize, though, just how awesome he is until 2003/2004.
It doesn't seem as if the Cubs really missed out too badly on players they've lost. There have certainly been some successful roleplayers in that bunch but nobody who would've made or broken a team.
Later this week we'll take a gander at the lost Cubs of 2002-2008, although I'm going to focus in more on the actual studs (or once-perceived studs) rather than just anybody who even briefly wore a Big Red C.
Take a look at Sean Marshall for example. In his first full season as a starter, he's taken the mound in the first inning 8 different times. In each of those 8 appearances, he's thrown 5 or more innings and he's only allowed more than 3 earned runs twice -- on May 5th, when he pitched 7 innings in a loss to San Francisco and yesterday, when he was rocked by the Dodgers.
In other words, Marshall has consistently delivered acceptable performances from the mound. His record for the month of May before yesterday? 3-2, 4.05 ERA. That's good for any 5th starter anywhere in baseball. But because Sean Marshall got beat yesterday, these are the comments of a couple - well, one -- of our readers:
Cubsfanky: Sean Marshall is TRASH!!
So, is this the way it's going to be all year long? A player has an ugly performance and we jump him? Ryan Dempster alternates between good, bad, and ugly outings and we label him a juicer? Milton Bradley begins the year 1 for 23 and we call him selfish? Derrek Lee slumps while he battles a sore neck and we call him washed up? This is how it is now?
On the bright side, the Cubs offense accounted for 9 more hits yesterday but they were only able to draw a solitary walk. Reed Johnson, who is apparently on fire, had another 3-hit game and suddenly finds himself batting .295.
The bullpen also threw 4.2 innings of shutout relief, stopping the Dodgers offense cold. They struck out 8 over that span too.
As for Sean Marshall, fans of Randy Wells couldn't have asked for a different performance. It should be a tough decision for Lou to make once Rich Harden comes back as to whether or not Wells stays in the rotation and Marshall shores up the pen or vice versa. A few more strong outings from Wells, coupled with a few more bad or ugly outings from Marshall and Lou's decision will be easy.
Current Record: 25-24
Position in the NL Central: 4th place, 4.5 games out
Best Possible Record: 138-24
Worst Possible Record: 25-137
Record needed to win 110: 85-28
On Pace For: 83-79
In case you've been avoiding the Cubs for the past week, I would like to point out that they have a chance to take 3-of-4 against the best team in baseball tonight at Wrigley Field. How have they done that? Well, they continued to pitch well thanks to Randy Wells, Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster. Then, yesterday they broke out the bats to club the Dodgers 7-0.
All of the sudden the Cubs are showing signs of life before heading out on a 9-day road trip to Atlanta, Houston and Cincinnati next week. With Milwaukee pounding the Reds this afternoon, the best they can be is 3.5 games out of first, which is just fine. The Brewers and Cardinals are in action tomorrow, so maybe we can pick up a half game without playing.
Back to the game at hand, the Dodgers are throwing Eric Milton. I thought he retired or something. Apparently, Milton did not pitch in '08, before signing a Minor League deal with the Dodgers this season. So far he's made two starts and is 1-0. I can't imagine he will keep up his 3.00 ERA, so I expect the Cubs to score a few today. Milton marks the fifth lefty the Cubs have faced this week, which is something you don't see often. They have fared pretty well against them, except Randy Wolf on Thursday.
Marshall will counter for the Cubs. In his last three starts, he's only gone five innings in each of them. Of course one of them was a rain-shortened complete game, but it is an interesting trend to look at in the time being. Unless somebody else gets hurt or the Cubs trade for another lefty, Marshall will move to the pen when Rich Harden comes back. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but if Randy Wells keeps pitching out of his mind it won't matter much.
The only other thing that's really got to worry Cub fans is the super-ice-cold Alfonso Soriano. Pat Hughes made a statement yesterday that he was a limping after catching a fly ball, but he stayed in the game. The Cubs really can't afford to lose another player, but playing with half a player really isn't that great either.
Reed Johnson - What has gotten into Reed? He shaves his beard and goes nuts. In the last seven days, Johnson is hitting a not so cool, .389 with 3 HRS while posting a 1.339 OPS. Also, Reed is doing the little things like laying down 2-out bunts. This recent hot streak has raised his overall average to .270. Now if we can some other guys this hot.
Mike Fontenot - Nine days ago Fontenot was hitting .193 after a pinch-hit appearance. I guess he thought he might lose his job or something, because he's raised his average 37 points. He came up with a 2-for-3 preformance yesterday that included a double and a triple, not to mention a walk and two RBI.
Milton Bradley - Well he didn't do any real damage, but he collected three hits and saw his average raise to .223. Hopefully, he's ready to carry the team for a couple weeks and get up to around .270.
Alfonso Soriano - What's cooler than being cool? Well, I guess it's Soriano, who went 0-for-5 yesterday. He's average has dropped to .246, and he hasn't hit a HR since May 17th.
Bobby Scales - It wasn't a great day for Crash Davis. Scales rapped into two double plays and left four guys on base.
After losing a game on Thrusday it seemed unlikley the Cubs could win this series, but they have that chance now. I suspect the Cubs will put together a good performance and get pick up their second straight series win.
Also, I'm going to all three game in Atlanta. Scott Lange, of the Northside Lounge, and I will be tailgating at least a couple of days this week. I will try and post more details later, but we're probably sitting in the Upper Deck. Leave a comment below if you anybody wants to get together.
The Cubs and the Dodgers. Two teams, evenly matched, who always play close games with high drama - until today. Today, L.A. rolled over, closed their eyes, and pretended to be in a far away land while the Cubs went to town on them for 7 runs. The details are as follows...
The Questionable Quartet
Combined, they went 6 for 12 with 4 walks, 2 doubles, a triple, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Individually, Bradley went 3 for 4, all singles (we'll take them), Soto was hitless but drew 2 more walks and Mike Fontenot has his best game in about a month.
Other key contributors include Reed Johnson who also collected 3 hits including a homerun. In total the Cubs notched 10 hits, walked 7 times, and ran away with the game.
The Perplexing Pitcher
Ryan Dempster -- who has been little hit and lotta miss this year -- went 7 strong innings, surrendering only 3 hits and walking 1. He was spelled by Guzman and Heilman, who gave up 2 hits and 1 walk in their 2 innings of shutout relief.
At this point, we know a few things about Dempster. First -- he's been bad, but some of it has been poor luck. Second, he's not going to win 17 games. He probably won't even win 15. But he is not toast by any means. It's conceivable that Dempster will end the year with a sub 4 ERA ... even if it's not likely.
The Cubs go for the series win tomorrow. If they accomplish it, don't scoff. The Dodgers are a tough team no matter where they play. For a streaky-but-slumping Cubs team to handle them so effectively would be an accomplishment, not to mention a sign of things to come.
Eric Stults (4-1, 4.29 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (3-3, 4.99 ERA)
How many people thought we were going to lose yesterday after Matt Kemp hit that fly ball that turned into a home run? ......Wow, a majority of our fans that like pain. Well, I don't really like pain, and Koyie Hill made me feel much better in the bottom of the inning. Then, give it up to Kosuke Fukudome, who came through by putting the ball in play with the bases loaded. Anyway, the Cubs held onto to win 2-1 and pulled within 3.5 games of first after a Cardinal loss. As bad as things have been, the Cubs are still right in the middle of things in the NL Central. Please don't give up hope, because a season is a wild ride.
I won't be watching today, since Fox has picked up the Braves game today. It seems like most of the nation will be catching the Cubs game, except me.
Today, the Cubs will hope that Ryan Dempster gets his stuff together. Which would include a few things like:
• Dempster doesn't walk 7 Dodgers.
• Demspter doesn't yell at an Ump
• Dempster doesn't destroy the Gatorade machine
In all seriousness, Dempster had four pretty good starts in a row before Monday's blow up against the Pirates. I had a feeling that Dempser would be up and down this year, and he hasn't disappointed.
Countering for the Dodgers is Eric Stults, who has been pretty decent for the team from L.A. The biggest thing is that Stults is a lefty, so that means Reed Johnson will once again get the call. Hopefully we will see Jake Fox one of these next two days with lefties on the mound.
Jake Fox - Since being called up as he's done is go 3-for-4. Interestingly, all three hits are in pinch-hit situations. Granted the one he didn't get a hit happened to end the game Thursday.
Cub pitchers - The offense might be struggling, but the pitchers have done their job. Ted Lilly and Randy Wells have been outstanding the last two nights. Also, the bullpen has done their job. If they keep it up, it is only a matter of time before the Cubs start putting together long winning streaks.
Andres Blanco - He did make a couple nifty plays in the field yesterday, but he left five guys on base, and only has one hit in three games. If Theriot is healthy today, you have to think he's back on the bench.
The Cubs have a great chance to take the series if they win today with the Dodgers throwing Eric Milton tomorrow. Don't look now, but the Cubs have won 3-of-4. I feel a winning streak coming on and it starts today.
At this time last year, the Cubs faced the Dodgers in a home series which they swept. The final score of that 3-game series? Cubs 8, Dodgers 3. At this point in a 4 game series neither team is on pace to score 8 runs.
The difference between this year and last year is that after the Cubs barely scraped past L.A., the Dodgers went out and acquired a game-changer who helped them trounce the Cubs in October. Who knows if the Cubs will even get to the playoffs but hopefully they've got something up their sleeves to change the scenario a bit.
This game is what we could conservatively call a "snoozer." No team scored a run until the 7th, when both squads exploded for a combined 3 scores. Matt Kemp briefly gave the Dodgers the lead before Three-Finger tied it up. The Cubs then managed to load the bases on one out before Fukudome sac-flied the winning run. Not exactly high-noon drama.
Roosevelt continues to pitch well out of the rotation, going 7 strong, allowing 4 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 5. He was relieved by Marmol and Gregg who combined to allow 1 hit and 2 walks in 2 innings of relief, but without any score. Marmol's control issues remain concerning.
Nevertheless, a win tomorrow for the Cubs guarantees a split. Although both teams have had dry offenses, and despite the fact that L.A. is one of the best teams in baseball right now, I fully expect the Cubs to do better than that.