Working On A Dream: Cubs vs. Astros, Monday 4/6, 6:05 CT

I'm working on a dream
though sometimes it feels so far away
I'm working on a dream
and I know it will be mine someday
-- Bruce Springsteen

At last! Seemed like it would never get here.

Let's begin with the beginning: Bruce Miles sends the Opening Day lineup:
Soriano, LF Fukudome, CF Lee, 1B Bradley, RF Ramirez, 3B Fontenot, 2B Soto, C Theriot, SS Zambrano, P

I'm fine with this lineup. It has the advantage of being R-L-R-L-R-L-R for the first seven batters, which should negate anyone's LOOGYs later in the game, not to mention Z's switch-hitting (and he has four career HR in the Juice Box). Meanwhile, Z has apparently forgotten Aramis Ramirez was on the team in 2003:

"I don't think there is anyone who wore an '03 uniform that is still here with the Cubs," Zambrano said. "We had everything -- pitching, defense, power, everything. It's hard to think about the '03 season."

Yeah, for us too, Z. So instead, Phil Rogers says, why don't you go out and throw another no-hitter tonight?

"You have to remember Carlos Lee wasn't in their lineup," Zambrano said of the no-hitter. "At that time, he was hurt. I have to be careful of him. He has good numbers on me. … With Lee, [Miguel] Tejada, [Lance] Berkman, now Pudge Rodriguez, they have a good lineup. I like a challenge. Facing Houston on Opening Day is a good challenge."

"It's an honor to be an Opening Day starter, especially with the Cubs," he said. "This is a great organization, the organization that brought me up. ... To get a chance to get the first victory of the season for our team is an honor and a challenge."

Z doesn't have a good record on Opening Days -- 0-1, 5.57 -- but he threw well last year in a no-decision. He'll become only the third Cub starter to pitch five Opening Days (Rick Sutcliffe, Fergie Jenkins).

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Roy Oswalt
Roy Oswalt
Astros
14-6 W-L 17-10
3.91 ERA 3.54
130 SO 165
72 BB 47
18 HR 23
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

(Statistics are from the 2008 season; after pitchers' first starts, I'll have extended stats like last year's)

Oswalt is the Astros' best starter (some would say, their only starter). Despite his fine career, he is only 12-11, 3.88 lifetime vs. the Cubs, and split a pair of decisions last year against them. We may get to see our old buddy LaTroy Hawkins tonight; he's now an Astro.

Like last year, I'm going to have multiple overflow threads post for each game. This one will serve as a pregame thread; a "first pitch" thread will post at 6 pm CDT (and in general, right before the first pitch of each game). Then, overflow threads 1, 2 and 3 will post at 1 hour, 2 hours, and 2:45 past game time. If it seems like more are warranted depending on the game, I'll make more. You won't see these on the front page of the site; there's a box on the right sidebar where you'll find them when they post. I'm also taking suggestions for what I can put on each overflow page (keep it clean, please!).

Enough talk. Play ball!

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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