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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Nationals, Friday 4/25, 6:35 CT

Next Game

Chicago Cubs
@ Washington Nationals

Friday, Apr 25, 2008, 6:35 PM CDT
Nationals Park

Ryan Dempster vs Odalis Perez

Mostly cloudy with a 30-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.

Complete Coverage >

UPDATE: Here's something I may try when I'm around the computer when the lineups are announced. Let me know if you'd like to see this more often:


Chicago Cubs @ Washington Nationals

04/25/08 6:35 PM CDT

Chicago Cubs Washington Nationals
Reed Johnson - CF Felipe Lopez - 2B
Ryan Theriot - SS Cristian Guzman - SS
Derrek Lee - 1B Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
Aramis Ramirez - 3B Nick Johnson - 1B
Kosuke Fukudome - RF Lastings Milledge - CF
Mark DeRosa - LF Johnny Estrada - C
Geovany Soto - C Wily Mo Pena - LF
Ronny Cedeno - 2B Rob Mackowiak - RF
Ryan Dempster - P Odalis Perez - P

Tonight, the Cubs play in their third time zone in the last four days (Tuesday in Chicago, Wednesday and Thursday in Denver, tonight in Washington). A big thank you to the schedule-makers for this ridiculous trip.

Supposedly, there is "new progress" on the sale of the Cubs. But this Tribune article defines "progress" as:

Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell has agreed to release "the book" on Cubs financial numbers to prospective buyers.And when will this happen?

"With the book coming out in the next few weeks, I think the process will move forward more rapidly than it has," [Bud] Selig said Thursday. "I think that's in everybody's best interests.""In the next few weeks"? Yawn. Wake me up when something actually happens. Here's something that actually did happen: Cubs chairman Crane Kenney, who had been doubling as Tribune Co. general counsel, has stepped down from the latter position to concentrate solely on running the Cubs:

"This move will allow Crane to focus exclusively on securing a World Series championship as the team enters its next phase of ownership," Sam Zell, Tribune Co.'s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.Promotion of the week: the Giants, before last night's game, announced that bleacher tickets for next Tuesday's home game vs. Colorado would be discounted by $1 for every strikeout Giants pitchers registered against the Padres last night. Tim Lincecum struck out nine and Brian Wilson two in the Giants' 1-0 win over the Padres, so bleacher tix for the Tuesday game will be $7. Which raises the question: if they had struck out 20, would the Giants have paid YOU to come?

If you live out there and want to take advantage, the coupon code is GIANTSK. (You can also get "view reserved" -- upper deck -- for $9.)

And, Joe Girardi has decreed: only healthy eating in the Yankees clubhouse.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
R. Dempster
vs. Odalis Perez
O. Perez
3-0 W-L 0-3
3.00 ERA 3.38
16 SO 20
11 BB 12
1 HR 3
vs. Was -- vs. Cubs

2008 - Ryan Dempster 3-0 4 4 0 0 0 0 24.0 14 9 8 1 11 16 3.00 1.04

2008 - Odalis Perez 0-3 5 5 0 0 0 0 26.2 29 11 10 3 12 20 3.38 1.54

Who would have guessed that, three weeks into the season, the starter with the best record would be Ryan Dempster? He's thrown pretty well in all four of his starts and has allowed only one HR in 24 innings. None of the current Nats lineup has hit very well off Dempster and only one (Felipe Lopez) has ever homered off him.

Odalis Perez is 3-1, 3.54 in four career starts vs. the Cubs, but that's largely irrelevant, as the last time he faced them was August 13, 2004. Aramis Ramirez didn't play that day, so only Derrek Lee remains from that day's lineup. Ramirez, for his part, is 4-for-9 with two HR vs. Perez, and while they were both in the AL, Reed Johnson hit Perez hard -- 5-for-8 with a double.

How to manage and not manage a pitching staff: Ned Yost's Brewers are carrying 14 pitchers, leaving only three bench players (actually, two, apart from their backup catcher Mike Rivera). Meanwhile, Lou Piniella is skipping Rich Hill's turn in the rotation again due to the off day Monday. Hill, who threw on Wednesday in Colorado, will have his next turn next Friday in St. Louis -- thus, probably making him available tomorrow and Sunday if the Cubs need an extra pitching body.

Yost=dumb. Piniella=smart.

Today's game is on broadcast TV -- WDCA -- in the Washington area, and on CSN Chicago. Also check the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2008 version) game preview

Discuss amongst yourselves.