- We are six weeks into the 2008 season. Raise your hand if, on March 31, you knew all of the following teams would be in the following spots on May 12: The Florida Marlins would be in first place with the best record in the NL
- The Cincinnati Reds would be in last place with the second-worst record in the NL
- The Tampa Bay Rays would be 1.5 games behind the Red Sox, in second place in the AL East, five games over .500 for the first time in franchise history
- The Oakland A's would be in first place with the second-best record in the AL
- The Detroit Tigers would be in last place, six games under .500
- And the San Diego Padres would have the worst record in baseball and be nine games out of first place.
That last may be the most perplexing of all the above bullet points. The Padres have had four straight winning seasons, made the playoffs in 2005 and 2006 and missed last year in a tiebreaker game (and Michael Barrett is still waiting for Matt Holliday to touch the plate). What happened to this team? (And no, I didn't see any hands raised, including my own.)
Whatever it is, please don't wake them up till Friday.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Carlos Zambrano||5-1||8||8||0||0||0||0||55.0||47||11||11||3||14||38||1.80||1.11|
|2008 - Randy Wolf||2-2||7||7||0||0||0||0||41.1||37||19||19||2||15||38||4.14||1.26|
Randy Wolf is only 2-5, 4.35 lifetime vs. the Cubs, but he has handled the current club's hitters pretty well. In 100 career AB among hitters currently on the Cubs roster, only Aramis Ramirez has homered off Wolf and they are a combined .190/.239/.270 in those 100 AB. Time to turn that around tonight. Wolf faced the Cubs as a Dodger last year on May 27 and threw six shutout innings in a game the Dodgers eventually won in 11. Before that he hadn't faced the Cubs since 2004.
Z, as I wrote yesterday, has been solid all year long, and is 4-1, 1.94 ERA in seven lifetime starts against the Padres -- that is his best ERA against any NL team. As good as Wolf has been vs. Cub hitters, Z is even better against the current SD roster. Hitters on San Diego's active roster are 4-for-47 (2 doubles, both by Brian Giles), with 17 strikeouts.
Here's what happens when I write that kind of stuff, and then say, "It's going to be a coolish, no-wind evening, a pitcher's night." When I say that, that's when we have a 10-9 game. As long as the Cubs win, that works for me.
Note of interest: former Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta, who is now working as a "special assistant" in the Padres front office, has just started a blog. Hat tip for the link to our SBN Padres site Gaslamp Ball. Careful if you go over there -- some of our best posters have been banned at GSB.
Today's game is on cable in Chicago and over the air (what a novel concept!) in San Diego. Also see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Today's overflow comment thread will post at 8:30 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.