The 162 Game Preseason Begins

That was the title for my entry for the Maple Street Press team preview I wrote, and pretty much sums up how I'm approaching the 2008 season. Oh sure, I should be grateful for the back-to-back playoff appearances and the fact that the Cubs are the favorites to do it again. But I'm just having a hard time mustering the excitement right now. It seems a lot like the 2008 team, and sure I'm curious about the new blood, but they don't quite have my full attention yet. Plus, after last year, what could they possibly do during the season to make me any more confident about their postseason chances than I was last year? Well they could be healthy and Harden and Z could be hitting 95+ regularly in Septemeber, but that's about it. And I have to wait until September for that to happen.

So now that I peed all over your Opening Day enthusiasm (send hate mail to carriedotmuskatatcubsdotcom)...on to the game we go.

We're going to scale back the game previews this season by the way. I hope no one minds. Not that it would change anything if you did. If there's something particularly interesting about the day's game - like it be Opening Day for example - something might go up, otherwise just use the last post to talk about the game if you're not in Parachat. We will try to do more game recaps though - not all of the Transmission variety - to cover the gap.

LF Soriano 2B #Matsui
CF *Fukudome C Rodriguez
1B Lee 1B #Berkman
RF #Bradley LF Lee
3B Ramirez SS Tejada
2B *Fontenot 3B #Blum
C Soto RF Pence
SS Theriot CF *Bourn
P #Zambrano P Oswalt

 

Carlos Zambrano 12-7, 2.70 ERA vs. the Astros in his career in 166.2 IP;  a 3.58 ERA in Minute Maid Park.

Roy Oswalt: 12-11, 3.11 ERA vs the Cubs in his career in 160 IP.

Join us in Parachat for the game, Transmission should be recapping the festivities.

Comments

Jack Wilson just doubled with two out and the bases loaded, Pittsburgh leads STL 6-4!! Blown save for Jason Motte, homerun Soriano in the Cubs game!!

Wow. Soriano leadoff homer on 1-0 pitch.

yes, the best power hitter on the team working his way to 80+ RBIs again.

Boo.

I'm with you on the argument, but I'd like to hold off on the pissy sarcasm until my beginning of the season euphoria wears off.

Why does Dusty have K-Fuk batting 2nd? Oh sorry, I mean Lou.

2nd pitch of season HR by Soriano, hope that is a good sign of things to come.

GO Cubs!!!

How quickly can we just cut bait and get a chartered flight back to Japan for K-Fuk? This guy has no business playing MLB ball.

Good to hear from you again, manny. By the way, if you had been watching the WBC, you would have known that Kosuke (Ko-suck-ay?) was the NL Rookie of the Year last year. So there. ~g~

HA HA!! Did he steal the trophy from Soto and take it back with him to Japan and say he won it?

Either that or it was a successful conspiracy by the Japanese media who believed they needed to justify their expense accounts for following the Cubs the entire season. Seeing that graphic under his name every time he came to bat in the WBC was a recurring WTF? moment for me.

I'm happy that baseball has begun. There's no room for team anger today. Chillax everyone.

Nice DP by K-Fuk there. UGH!! GO BACK TO JAPAN!!

Soriano looks great though. Man if he can be healthy all year that would be a huge boost.

I know it's the Astros lineup, but Zambie looks very good and extremely confident today. Great start to the season...

Since Lou loves the R-L alternating lineups and won't move Soriano off the leadoff spot, here's what I think the lineup should realistically be:

LF Soriano
2B *Fontenot
3B Ramirez
RF #Bradley
C Soto
1B Lee
CF *Fukudome
SS Theriot
P #Zambrano

I don't know how Lou can justify keeping DLee in the 3 hole and Soto in the 7 spot.

Ok, enough bitching. As long as they win, I guess I don't really care.

Thank God MB's back out there after the ankle roll. Although the real test will be about 3 hours after the game when he's been sitting down for awhile. Let's hope it was nothing.

HoffPOWER! with an RBI single in the 9th.

I love this team. Yes FKK sucks, but still.

Good to see He-Man picking up that RBI.

Bradley looks like a very good RF, but I'm gonna hold my breath every time he has to really run for anything. Ever since that ankle roll I just keep thinking, stay healthy.

What the hell? Soriano-FKK-Bradley. Defensive replacement in CF? WTF?

Cubs Win 4-2!!

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

1-0

CUBS WIN!!! CUBS WIN!!!

The good:
- Soriano. While I would love to see him drop down in teh lineup, he hit teh ball very well today and the leadoff HR was good mojo right off the bat.
- Zambrano. Big Z looked to be in mid season form. He even was pretty efficient with his pitches.
- Bullpen. Besides Gregg's hiccup in the 9th the bullpen came in and shut the door after Z left in the 7th.
- Ramirez. Hit his 250th career Hr tonight.

The bad:
- Bradley. If going 0-3 wasn't bad enough, he also dropped a ball in the 9th that could have easily been caught and twisted his ankle rounding forst. Let's hope that doesn't put him on the DL and he misses a month.

The ugly:
- Fukudome. He started off today just like he left off, being completely overmatched. I have absolutely no confidence this guy can be effective. I would not be surprised if he is relegated to bench duty by the All-Star Game and either traded or released by years end.

I'm going to play Go Cubs Go about 300 times tonight.

Nice game to start the season.

Good to see Manny back.

Todd Hollandsworth looks stoned.

Fuku vs. Oswalt 2008: 1/6. The 1 was a bunt single. On April 5. When he was a rock star. Just sayin'.

i also did not not understand the gathright in center personnally joey in right made more sense.

Recent comments

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  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 3 hours 39 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 5 hours 51 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 52 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 58 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 6 hours 2 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 16 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 6 hours 22 min ago view
  • QuietMan 6 hours 30 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 6 hours 49 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 7 hours 27 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 8 hours 12 min ago view