The Cubs will be facing three lefthanders in the four-game series vs. the Mets: Jon Niese tonight, Oliver Perez tomorrow, and Johan Santana on Thursday. Lou said yesterday he's going to lead off Marlon Byrd against LHP, for the time being.
This is an interesting choice. Byrd isn't a typical leadoff man, or at least not the "scrappy basestealer" that managers seem enamored with in the leadoff role. In his career, Byrd has 633 PA -- about one full season's worth -- batting first. He has hit .280/.346/.406 in that role, likely good enough so that Lou can keep doing this for a while. Virtually all of those leadoff AB (all but a handful in Texas in 2007) were with the Phillies in 2003 and 2004. I'm also pleased that Lou is going to drop Ryan Theriot to 8th vs. LHP -- he really should be batting there fulltime.
Let's hope this works, because once Lou finds something that does, he usually sticks with it for a while.
Now, something I need to say about the game threads. We are all frustrated with the play of this team through its first 12 games. Nevertheless, going into the game threads and bitching about everything and issuing personal attacks is simply not something I am going to tolerate here. I received multiple complaints about some of the comments made in recent game threads, particularly Saturday's.
Thus, I am appointing Cubbie-Tim as game thread moderator, since most of the time I can't be in those. He's not going to rule with an iron fist nor is he going to discipline or ban anyone. I'm just asking him to watch the threads and try to keep the conversation civil. I understand frustration at watching bad play or the occasional profanity. Constant negativity and personal attacks: not acceptable.
Thanks to Tim for offering. He's going to be moderating night games and weekends. I'm still looking for someone who can moderate weekday afternoons (the next such game is Wednesday, April 28). If you can do this, drop me an email.
Now let's start a winning streak!
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Randy Wells||1-0||2||2||0||0||0||0||12.1||16||4||4||0||3||8||2.92||1.54|
|2010 - Jon Niese||0-1||3||2||0||0||0||0||11.0||17||8||8||1||3||5||6.55||1.82|
Jon Niese is one of the few Mets pitchers who did NOT pitch in Saturday's 20-inning marathon, but he did pinch-hit (and struck out). He has made one career appearance vs. the Cubs, a start on September 22, 2008. Jason Marquis hit a grand slam off Niese; that's for historical interest only. Among current Cubs, only Geovany Soto and Ryan Theriot have hits off Niese.
Does this sound familiar? Randy Wells threw six good innings vs. the Mets on September 6, 2009, but left trailing 2-1 and the bullpen turned that into a 4-2 loss. Current Mets are 2-for-13 vs. Randy.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago and SNY -- but it has also been picked up by ESPN for national distribution. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
This afternoon's first pitch thread will be up at 6 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 7:15, 8:15 and 9 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.