A Quick Tour of the Cubs Offense....
Alfonso Soriano - still projected to hit 41 HR's on the season despite a .657 OPS in May. Also on pace to strikeout 184 times which would be a career high. Since his public flogging at the hands of the WWE, a .376 OPS with 19 K's and 0 HR's (hat tip to reader Romero for keeping an eye on that).
Ryan Theriot - .340 BA and .993 OPS at home (5 HR's will help that), .241 BA and .667 OPS on the road. Little Ryan Theriot gets homesick. .903 OPS with runners in scoring position has been a bright spot.
Milton Bradley - ever so slowly warming up, he's finally above Mendoza line and his OPS is at .740 (just 40 pts behind Bobby Abreu for those keeping track at home). One of the few Cubs that could be considered to be doing well with runners in scoring position with 1.018 OPS although just a .269 BA in that situation, meaning he's doing more of keeping the rally going than bringing the runners home. Dusty Baker disapproves of this strategy.
Derrek Lee - the death of this team, completely useless player that the Cubs should just drop... he just happened to have the best OPS for any of the regular Cubs in the month of May (.955).
Aramis Ramirez - Get well soon. Real soon.
Aaron Miles - The exact opposite....
Geovany Soto - GeoWalton as someone so affectionately labeled him in Parachat has all of 5 extra base hits this year. He had 29 at this point last year and 60 on the year.
Mike Fontenot - Godenot or FonteNOT depending on your mood and his level of play is showing the power while playing out of position. The .497 OPS with RISP though is...um...not good.
Kosukue Fukudome - came back to Earth a bit in May with an .830 OPS but an incredible .406 BA and 1.208 OPS with runners in scoring position should keep him near the top or middle of the order for awhile.
Reed Johnson - He's still doing his job versus lefties with a .955 OPS against lefties (most of the damage coming the last week). Just hope Lou resists the urge to get him more at-bats versus righties.
Bobby Scales - your 15 minutes are just about up.
Micah Hoffpauir - He's doing pretty much what I expected from, which is a decent lefty power bat off the bench or as a fill-in.
Jake Fox - Free Jake Fox! Free Jake Fox!
If there's a silver lining to the first two months, either most of the Cubs forgot how to hit or they've just been unlucky. The numbers suggest unlucky.
(BABIP numbers via Fangraphs)
Not to get into too big of a batted ball type tangent, but Bradley and Fontenot are the two Cubs that probably expect major improvements in their numbers. We should also expect some improvements from Soto, Lee and Soriano with Fukudome and Ramirez giving back a little. For Bradley, he went from an absurdly high .390ish BABIP last year to an absurdly low .244 so far this year. Hopefully he can stay on the field long enough for that to correct itself.
I also want to mention Geovany Soto and his THT page. He's hitting line drives and ground balls at about the same rate, but his homerun per flyball rate is down to 2.7% from 13.4%. Some have suspected he got fat again, some think his shoulder is bothering him or maybe it's just the sophomore slump, but it does appear as the weather warms and the ball starts carrying a little more, hopefully the home run rate will follow.
J-Hey not finishing with an offensive onslaught.
If Geoff Blum could be a Playoff hero, there is hope still...
Giants scare me. I think you're wrong about Bumgarner, he would pitch on short rest for Game 2 and then full rest for Game 5. Cueto would go Game 1, then short rest in game 4. Add in some really tough outs in that lineup and I want nothing to do with them. With that rotation they can easily steal a series.
Cards are a tough matchup. The rivalry evens out their comparable lack of talent. And like someone said, they love HRs, which is how to beat the Cubs. The upside is that I would feel really good about Lester twice against STL.
j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er
zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8
heyward 0-4 :(
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says
Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.
I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.
The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.
I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.
I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.
With that said in reverse order:
3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.
2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.
1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.
CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.
Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.
I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.
any opponent preference for NLDS?
Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.
A couple of Cub related puzzles.
Can't teach height and thinness
Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.
j.buchanan going friday...should be...baseball...or something like it.
Wow. I didn't know they could do that.
Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.