It's Opening Day; I'm Going to Throw Out the First Hurricane Ike Reference

The Astros hate the Cubs. Everyone who is not a Cubs fan hates Carlos Zambrano. And the Houstons are opening the season at home with the best pitcher in team history on the mound. You'd think that would be enough to activate their adrenal glands. But of course, there's that other business left over from 2008:

After surging back
into the wild-card race with the best record in the National League
after the All-Star break, the Astros saw their season stalled for two
days because of Hurricane Ike. With downtown a mess and most of Houston
without electricity, the Astros were dispatched to Milwaukee to play
two “home games” against the Cubs.

Several in the
pro-Chicago crowd held up signs thanking Ike for shifting the series to
Miller Park. Even worse, Zambrano no-hit the Astros in the first game,
beginning the five-game losing streak that put an end to their
postseason hopes.

Hurricane Ike hangover or not, tonight's matchup, on the road, against a great pitcher, looks like a tough one for the Cubs, who have gone 2-2 in Zambrano's previous Opening Day assignments. But regardless, how much fun is it knowing that in just a few hours, regular season baseball will be back?


Great matchup... the outcome depends on who shows up to pitch for the Cubs: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.

For everyone predicting the Reds to be a contender this year...they're Opening Day lineup

Hairston, D. McDonald (no idea), Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Encarnacion, Hernandez, Gonzalez....

that lineup ain't winning shit....

Well... to be fair, I'd take Votto, Phillips, Bruce, or Encarnacion over Fontenot in my lineup any day.

Tavaras out with the flu.

Harang v. Santana (ouch)

really going out on a ledge there ryno...

I'd take Utley, Uggla or Pedroia over Fontenot too....

I'd be willing to take Bruce for Fukudome...and I love me some Fukkake.

I thought Chris Dickerson would get the LF job he only hit .323 with 2 HR 6 RBI and had 6 SB's (5 cs) to Hairstons .111 spring average.

But what was a i thinking, its Dusty Baker. He has enough young players being thrust on him, he needs his veterans somewhere to show the other guys how the game is played.

Btw nice route on that simple fly ball Hairston. It almost ate you alive, geeeez what shitty manager.

If your going to go with a shitty OFer in LF, atleast go with Johnny Gomes. He has a .879 career OPS against lefties which i think is better than Hairstons .703. Well atleast Hairston is athletic he has that going for him.

Yeah, Gomes has power but a low OBP. That won't do on the new-look Reds. Dusty likes 'em (s)crappy.

Darnell McDonald is a former Corey Patterson type prospect with the Orioles as I recall.

Besides him batting in the most important spot in the order, that lineup is pretty decent. 3 - 8 have all had good ML seasons recently, with the exception of Bruce who will have one this year.

Dusty as their manager = not winning shit

Last I heard Dusty has won a helluva' lot of games.

Zambrano's opening day woes (maybe he'll get himself ejected from the game this year!) vs. his love of dominating the Astros. Ought to be fun.

DeRosa batting 2nd for Indians (imagine that)...hits 4 HR's in his first AB...

alright, just a walk.

Despite what some broadcasters might claim, batting 2nd between Sizemore and Victor Martinez > batting 2nd between Soriano and Derrek Lee. What a wonderful place in the lineup to be. Good for DeRo.

I'd bat Zambrano 5th, but otherwise not a bad lineup.

That lineup sucks.

It's one 'good Fukudome' from being scary isn't it?

what a shitty lineup...

Opening day!

2004 - Grudzielanek 2b, Patterson cf, Sosa rf, Alou lf, Ramirez 3b, Lee 1b, A Gonzalez ss, Barrett c, Wood P

2006 - Pierre cf, Walker 2b, Lee 1b, Ramirez 3b, Jones rf, Barrett c, Murton lf, Cedeno ss, Zambarano P

That lineup is awful!!

Go Cubs.

Fukudome should be hitting 8th. A Japanese player who thrived in a league of junk ballers should be in a position to hit where he'll see similar pitches. Switch TheRiot and Fuk, and I'm fine with the lineup.

(if you'll excuse me I am off to continue beating my dead horse) is complete crap today...

about to make fun of Khalil Greene batting clean-up, he singles in a run.

gives up a HR to Felipe Lopez...

Webb got shelled

4IP, 6H (2HR), 6ER, 2BB, 2K, HBP 77pitches 42 strikes

Will MLB extra innings be free this week on comcast?

Not surprisingly Cincinnati blacked out the Reds/Mets game in Nashville. They feel like they own the Nashville market (and do because of the draconian MLB TV rules) and since nobody cares about the Reds here no TV station will pick up their broadcasts. In retaliation the Reds black out our metro area.

A great number of Nashville baseball fans despise the Reds because of their heavyhandedness in this respect. It's opening day, break a leg Joey Votto or Jay Bruce!

Make it Jay Bruce, I have a lot invested in Joey Votto

Love me some Nashville. I was up there for the UFC fight last Wednesday/Thursday and had an absolute blast. Better than Memphis in almost every way.

-End o threadjack-

Go Cubs

underestimated Tony Clark...2 HR's today.

Or Rockies' pitchig is right on target.

One more and he's in Tuffy Rhodes class.

Zaun playing catcher for Baltimore looks like Old Man Winters, hopefully Shaggy and Scooby are on the prawl after the game. The could be some doin's a-transpirin'

Vinny from Brooklyn you're on.


Dis Sabathia sucks!!

How do you pay a guy....(fill in the rest)

Funny. Of course, that's not the first time someone from NYC has been paid a lot of money for poor performance.

Morgan with a 2RBI single for PIT, 2-2 Top 7

To quote Mr. Baseball:

"Actual Baseball is actually being played here."

Go Cubs!

Who filled out that lineup card for Houston? Dusty Baker?

Kaz Matsui and Ivan Rodriguez batting 1st and 2nd with their career .331 and .339 OBPs. To be fair, Kaz did break .350 last season. But Rodriguez hasn't even been close to his mediocre career OBP in the past two years.

Cubs looking good. My only critique is they had a chance to run with Soriano-and they hit and ran into a dp. They had a chance to run again with 2 out in the 7th with Theriot on and Soriano up-no go. Whats up Lou? Put the pressure on baby!

I'd say Reed Johnson will play tomorrow and forever...

soriano was 0 for 3 in SB this spring, so it didn't work out well for him early so far.

he did hit 11 xbase hits, though.

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  • RIP Zoobrest.

    crunch 36 min 31 sec ago view
  • He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.

    johann 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 3 hours 37 min ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 4 hours 34 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 5 hours 55 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 25 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 28 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 37 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 10 hours 20 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 15 hours 6 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 15 hours 7 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 1 day 48 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 1 day 3 hours ago view