Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Big Z gets the nod

Well my (weak and feeble) push to stump for Ted Lilly as the Opening Day starter ended in the burning inferno of a Zambrano fastball today.

Lou decided to go with Z against the Astros on April 6 in Houston. This will be Zambrano's fifth consecutive Opening Day fart...I mean start.

It crushes my soul even more to know that Lilly wasn't one of the finalists for the first game nod as Ryan Dempster was the runner up. How many more people do you have to kill before you get the respect you deserve Ted?

As we all know, Zambrano has been a fairly poor performer on Opening Day - I'm too lazy to look up the stats right now so deal with it - but I guess he is the symbolic "ace" of the staff.

Hopefully Big Z will be able to buck the trend of craptacular performances, but I'm not expecting anything too drastic. I just don't want the pressure to do any more damage to his psyche.

I'd like to think Zambrano has a limited number of traumatic losses he can sustain before he actually murders someone, so here's to hoping the Astros forget their bats on April 6. Stay tuned.

A very good decision

I'm actually glad they gave the nod to Z. By doing so you don't stir the pot and get guys worked-up about dumb shit. If Z is still on the team and healthy he should get the opening day start. I like the idea to give Lilly the start just as a kind gesture in the fact that he missed out on getting a start in the Playoffs last season, but being the #2 guy in the rotation should be enough. Z might not have had the most success in his prior opening day starts, but he is clearly the #1 guy on the staff and deserves the start again this season. The fact that he came up with the organization, he's made the consecutive opening day starts to this point, and he's a prominent face of the franchise all give reason to give him the ball for game 1. I would have to think that Dempster entered the conversation simply as a diversion - he at best is the 4th guy that should get a shot at the opening day start (behind Z, Lilly, & Harden).

You really can't go wrong

You really can't go wrong with any of the Big Four on Opening Day. But you're probably right that giving Z the start keeps the status quo...

Although the status quo on Opening Day hasn't been a good thing for Zambrano over the last few years. Just saying.

No I hear ya. Massaging

No I hear ya. Massaging egos is all it is really.

does it really matter?

Come on... does opening day really matter that much? It's so easy for we fans to get pumped up about opening day (Fukudome was 3-for-3 last year with 3 RBIs) but it doesn't really matter as far as the rest of the year goes. Anyone remember leadoff batter and CF-er in 1994 Karl Rhodes who hit 3 HR's on opening day?

I'm happy that "Z" get's the nod, but it's just 1/162 games.

does it really matter, indeed...?

I tend to think opening day does matter more than "any other day", although not as much as some would believe. It matters simply because a guy throwing an efficient game, going fairly deep into the game means you start the year without pwning the bullpen on day one, leading to day 2, day 3, etc., where your bullpen is now stronger and more ready, rather than falling behind right off the bat.

There are weeks during the season where the bullpen will be strong, and weeks when the bullpen will be a bit beat-up. Week 12 matters every bit at much as week 1, but the strong first step can set the tone...at least for a few days.

Opening Day Stats

IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
2005 C Zambrano 4.2 7 3 3 4 8 1 5.79
2006 C Zambrano 4.2 7 5 5 5 5 2 9.64
2007 C Zambrano 5 6 5 5 5 2 2 9.00
2008 C Zambrano 6.2 3 0 0 1 5 0 0.00

DEFINITELY like the 2008 Z better than the previous 3. Lets hope for a line like that, with Soriano going 4-5, hitting the cycle. CUBBIES!

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