Saturday, Jul 19, 2008, 6:05 PM CDT
Minute Maid Park
Carlos Zambrano vs Wandy Rodriguez
Partly cloudy with a 30-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 90.
Here are a few more notes on the upcoming sale of the Cubs, listing the seven most likely bidding groups and individuals -- I'm very glad to see Don Levin, owner of the Wolves, still on this list. He's my #1 choice -- a Chicago native, lifelong Cubs fan with deep pockets who already owns a successful sports team in this town. There are a few more details in this Fran Spielman article in today's Sun-Times, and yet another take from the Wall Street Journal.
Our old friend Dayn Perry is at it again, this time with a Baseball Prospectus article ($, I think) trotting out every old North Side/South Side stereotype you can think of. It's so bad that it's worth a read.
Now, onward to more pressing business -- winning tonight's game.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Carlos Zambrano||10-3||18||18||0||0||0||0||120.1||110||40||38||8||38||78||2.84||1.23|
|2008 - Wandy Rodriguez||4-3||13||13||0||0||0||0||75.0||73||38||29||8||23||65||3.48||1.28|
Z has pitched well against the Astros both this year and in his career -- 10-6, 2.67. The Juice Box is also one of his favorite parks to hit in; though he has only four hits there, three of them are homers. He handles Lance Berkman well (8-for-54, but 4 HR), and Carlos Lee hammers him (not a surprise, as El Caballo hits just about every Cub pitcher: 16-for-44, 5 doubles, 4 HR vs. Z). So many of the supposed "expert" sportswriters wring their hands because Z's strikeout total is down, but that's Z realizing he doesn't have to throw the ball 9,000 MPH against every single hitter; his sinker has been devastating this year and that's one of the reasons he's allowed only eight HR.
Somehow, Wandy Rodriguez has turned himself into a decent pitcher. I'd never have expected that from a guy who seemed to have no velocity, little control and a career ERA over 5.00 coming into this year. He has failed to get out of the sixth inning in his last three starts, though. Derrek Lee (7-for-16) and Ryan Theriot (5-for-10) hit him hard, and expect Jim Edmonds (and maybe the slumping Kosuke Fukudome) to get the night off vs. the LHP Rodriguez.
Today's game is a cable extravaganza in Chicago and Houston, on EI and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6:00 pm CT and the overflow comment threads will post at 7:15 pm and 8:15 pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.