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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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • jacos 36 min 39 sec ago view
  • For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.

    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.

    crunch 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 18 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 39 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 43 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 48 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 8 hours 33 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 8 hours 35 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 29 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 33 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 15 hours 49 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 15 hours 52 min ago view