I-94 Rivalry Renewed: Cubs vs. Brewers, Friday 4/10, 3:05 CT

Before we move on to today's game, I commend you all to these two posts (and this one is a moving tribute) on Halos Heaven, regarding the tragic death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart. I read every one of the more than 1100 comments on those two posts -- in the wake of tragedy, it was great to see fans of all teams sending their thoughts and prayers to Nick's family and the Angels family. Thanks to all the BCB readers who added their comments.

Moving on to the Cubs, who will face Milwaukee in the Brewers' home opener this afternoon, Bruce Miles has a summary of the season so far, all three games' worth, including this on Milton Bradley:

Bradley is without a hit, he has 4 walks. According to STATS, Inc., Bradley is second in the National League in pitches seen per plate appearance, at 5.36.

That's second to Jerry Hairston, and no other Cub is in the top 20.

This squares with the type of season Bradley had last year with Texas, when he led the American League with an on-base percentage of .436, setting a Rangers record.

In other words, Bradley rarely swings at bad pitches.

The shocking thing about that, of course, is that any comparison of Milton Bradley to Jerry Hairston is surprising, but once Milton gets untracked and starts hitting, that OBA should head up to the league lead again. Bradley is 10-for-31 lifetime in Miller Park with four homers.

And please. Stop the panic talk about Geovany Soto. He's just fine and may miss a couple of games and should not have to go on the DL. Step back slowly from the ledge, please.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Harden
Rich Harden
Cubs
vs. Braden Looper
Braden Looper
Brewers
10-2 W-L 12-14
2.07 ERA 4.16
181 SO 108
61 BB 45
11 HR 25
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

None of the Cubs hit Looper particularly well -- the best are Kosuke Fukudome (4-for-13, a HR) and Derrek Lee (7-for-24, a HR), and yet the Cubs beat him three times in the four starts he made against them for St. Louis last year. Looper also has a 4.89 career ERA in Miller Park in 42.1 innings.

Rich Harden faced Milwaukee twice last year, first during the four-game sweep in Miller Park last July and also last September 18, when he gave them only one hit (but six walks) and one run in the game that Geovany Soto eventually tied up with that dramatic 9th-inning HR and the Cubs won in 12. Harden wasn't very good against the Yankees last Saturday, but then again, that game didn't count; he may have been working on various pitches.

Much has been made of the fact that the Brewers were forced to make a late-afternoon game time in San Francisco yesterday, then fly home, probably arriving after 2 am, for an afternoon start. Will the Brewers be tired? Probably, but in the past, this hasn't really affected teams that much, to my knowledge. Most likely, Looper was sent home early so he could rest up for the start.

Here is today's MLB.com Mediacenter link. Hopefully, they will have fixed the problems of the last few days so those of you who have paid for the service, can actually get what you paid for. (No, I'm not holding my breath either.) The game is on WGN-TV and also FSN Wisconsin.

MLB.com Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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