Return To The Scene Of The Crime: Cubs vs. Dodgers Preview, Thursday 8/20, 9:10 CT

We don't really need to get too involved in what happened the last time the Cubs visited Dodger Stadium. However, Chris DeLuca in today's Sun-Times uses it as a scathing indictment of Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella that makes me think he read my post from yesterday; he talks extensively about the "we need to get more lefthanded" mantra that Lou apparently began just after that series ended, since the Cubs had faced no lefthanded pitchers at all from the Dodgers all year:

The next night, after the Cubs were swept by the Dodgers, a frustrated Piniella stood in his office and repeated the remarks about the Dodgers' no-lefties approach. It was a theme he would take into the organizational meetings. And when a blueprint for the offseason was drawn up, "getting more left-handed" in the National League's most feared lineup became the Cubs' cause.

Never mind that the Dodgers did have LHP in 2008 -- Clayton Kershaw, Hong-Chih Kuo and Joe Beimel among them -- it just happened that the Cubs didn't face any of them. And never mind that the Dodgers wouldn't necessarily be a Cubs postseason opponent in the future, or that they might change their pitching staff. Nope, said Lou: "Get more lefthanded". DeLuca concludes:

Keep in mind, the Cubs went 5-2 against the Dodgers during the regular season. This despite hitting .238 with a .656 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentages) against the Dodgers -- their lowest marks in each of those categories against any NL team last season.

So granted, Dodgers pitchers did the best job of cooling off the NL's most productive offense last season. They did it without a single left-handed pitcher -- and that might say more about the Dodgers' lack of left-handed pitching than anything about the Cubs.

But that was no reason to overreact and tear up a 97-victory team that could've been just as dangerous in 2009.

Bingo. The Cubs won't face a lefty tonight, but they will tomorrow -- Randy Wolf -- and the Dodgers have three in their bullpen, Kuo, James MacDonald and George Sherrill.

Guess you outsmarted yourself, eh, Lou?

Today's Starting Pitchers
Tom Gorzelanny
Tom Gorzelanny
Cubs
vs. Jeff Weaver
Jeff Weaver
Dodgers
5-2 W-L 3-1
5.24 ERA 4.05
22 SO 18
8 BB 15
2 HR 2
vs. LA -- vs. Cubs
Note: Gorzelanny's numbers below are with the Cubs only. See the pitcher box above for his full-season numbers.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Tom Gorzelanny 2-1 3 3 0 0 0 0 13.2 12 8 8 2 4 15 5.27 1.17


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Jeff Weaver 5-4 21 6 0 0 0 0 63.0 64 28 26 6 27 47 3.71 1.44

Jeff Weaver has made five career starts vs. the Cubs (2-0, 4.05), but that's largely irrelevant, because the last one was two years ago and the other four were in 2006 and before, and only Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee remain from those teams. The first start he made vs. the Cubs was on June 3, 2000, when Weaver was with the Tigers. I post that boxscore link for amusement value. Anyway, please don't tell Lou this: the Cub who hits Weaver best is Aaron Miles (6-for-15). Six hits is how many Miles has had in his last forty-five at-bats dating back to June 10 (.133 average). Please don't let Miles anywhere near tonight's game.

Tom Gorzelanny has made two starts vs. the Dodgers, both in 2007 while with Pittsburgh; he's 1-0, 4.26 in those starts. No current Dodger has homered off him, but the players currently on LA's roster have a .314 average (16-for-51) against Gorzo. Brad Ausmus is 4-for-8 with 5 RBI.

The Cubs return to WGN tonight, and if you have EI, you'll be listening to Vin Scully on Prime Ticket. Listen now, because Scully is retiring after 2010. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 10 pm, 11 pm and 11:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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