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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  • crunch 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 1 hour 33 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 7 hours 25 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.

     

     

    Rob G. 7 hours 27 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 8 hours 32 min ago view
  • On another topic....I returned to South Bend last night for the 2nd time this season (still haven't tried either the deep-fried mac & cheese sandwich nor "The Porknado", as the drive home is over an hour and that could get ugly), and was pleasantly surprised to find D. Underwood pitching in a rehab start. He looked good -- although, to be fair, these are low-A hitters -- fastball consistently at 94-95 (if the SB scoreboard is to be believed -- several pitches were clocked in the 30s...) and with good location.

    billybucks 9 hours 41 min ago view
  • he gains nothing, no advantage, no saving of resources, nothing...there is not a cost/benefit tradeoff...him letting the running game go on around him for others to control isn't gaining him an advantage elsewhere. it's putting him at a disadvantage even if it's not cashed in with a run.

    crunch 12 hours 21 min ago view
  • And out of respect for the rest of TCR, I'm done on this. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the other camp, but time to let it go. (Until the next Lester start. I kid.)

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 12 hours 24 min ago view
  • He is putting himself at a disadvanage. But how much of one relative to the rest of his game? He's not Justin Germano -- he's inarguably one of the best SPs in baseball, issue or not. It would be more of thing to discuss ad nauseum if it constantly caused him to give up runs and lose games. But it doesn't.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 12 hours 34 min ago view
  • shouting down my points about lester with "well, it didn't hurt" is like saying it doesn't matter if a guy starts out walking 3 guys every inning as long it's followed by a K and a double play.

    it's like elevating ERA and wins to a high level while ignoring what it took to get there.

    crunch 12 hours 40 min ago view
  • I'm asking how much it has hurt Lester and the Cubs this year. Do you have that answer?

    I legitimately don't recall you answering that quesion, apart from the condescending silliness you just posted. So if you did answer specifically about the impact of Lester's issue, I'd like to re-read it. Thanks.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 12 hours 53 min ago view
  • if runner = on base and pitcher = j.lester then lead = large

    if lead = large then probability of extra base on following hit > average of mean

    okay, enough of that silliness...

    ...you can read more on the thread i copy/pasted this from the last time you decided you needed to talk to me about me.

    crunch 12 hours 59 min ago view