Rookies Everywhere!

GAME 42 PREVIEW HOUSTON ASTROS (15-28) at CHICAGO CUBS (19-22) Wrigley Field, 7.05pm CT, TV: CSN, Fox Sports SW
SP *Glendon Rusch SP *Wandy Rodriguez
CF Willy Taveras 2B Jerry Hairston
LF *Todd Self SS #Neifi Perez
2B Craig Biggio 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Lance Berkman 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Morgan Ensberg RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF Jason Lane LF Jason Dubois
SS Adam Everett CF *Corey Patterson
C Brad Ausmus C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
They're like buses - you wait ages for one, and then two come along at once. Rookie opposition starters that is. Yesterday the Cubs got Brandon McCarthy, but they didn't manage to actually get to him. In fact, McCarthy was very impressive, striking out the first ever major league batter he faced (Hairston) and pitching a very solid five and a third innings before Guillen very cautiously lifted him. Today the Cubs get Wandy (yes, Wandy) Rodriguez, who starts in place of Andy Pettitte, and hopefully they'll at least give one of these two rookies a major league welcome to make them wish they'd never been promoted. Rodriguez doesn't have the same prospect calibre of McCarthy though, nowhere near - he's a 21, no, 25, er 26 year-old soft-tossing lefty out of Venezuela with a fastball, changeup, curveball arsenal that he throws for strikes, and at best he projects as the lefty out of the 'pen that makes up the numbers. He's going on just three days of rest and will be looking to end a five-game Houston losing streak. [Update] According to Bruce Levine at least, the Cubs are about to pull off a big trade, but that's all he's saying! Talk about keeping us on tenterhooks! Anyway, speculate away amongst yourselves. All I have to say is that I hope that Corey Patterson, whose name seems to be getting bandied around quite a bit, isn't involved. This is no time to give up on him.

Behind Enemy Lines

With a quarter of the season in the books, it's time that our foes in the NL Central got the once over.

 

Pos Team W-L PCT GB   RS RA Pythg   Home Away 1-run Extra
1 Cardinals 27-16 .628 --   228 187 26-17   12-9 15-7 9-7 1-0
2 Brewers 20-23 .465 7.0   188 173 23-20   11-9 9-14 7-5 1-2
3= Cubs 19-22 .463 7.0   179 178 21-20   10-10 9-12 8-9 2-2
3= Pirates 19-22 .463 7.0   161 178 18-23   7-13 12-9 3-8 1-1
5= Astros 15-28 .349 12.0   159 198 17-26   13-9 2-19 4-10 0-3
5= Reds 15-28 .349 12.0   190 253 16-27   10-12 5-16 7-9 0-1


Ahh…Crud-thers

In doing my research for this weeks organizational report, I came across this small, buried nugget at Inside the Ivy (subscription may be required to access link). Pitcher Dave Crouthers, one of the three prized players we received from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Mr. You-Know-Who, has decided to RETIRE from baseball. Reasons were not given.

Unoffensive

GAME 41 PREVIEW CHICAGO WHITE SOX (31-12) at CHICAGO CUBS (18-22) Wrigley Field, 2.20pm CT, TV: WGN
SP Mark Prior SP Brandon McCarthy
LF *Scott Podsednik 2B Jerry Hairston
2B Tadahito Iguchi SS #Neifi Perez
CF Aaron Rowand 1B Derrek Lee
1B Paul Konerko RF *Jeromy Burnitz
C *AJ Pierzynski 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Jermaine Dye

Ace

GAME 40 PREVIEW CHICAGO WHITE SOX (30-12) at CHICAGO CUBS (18-21) Wrigley Field, 12.15pm CT, TV: FOX (blackout restrictions)
SP Carlos Zambrano SP Jose Contreras
LF *Scott Podsednik 2B Jerry Hairston
2B *Willie Harris SS #Neifi Perez
CF Aaron Rowand 1B Derrek Lee
1B Paul Konerko RF *Jeromy Burnitz
C *AJ Pierzynski 3B Aramis Ramirez

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