It's going to be sunny today. This time, the forecasters promise. Let's hold them to that -- a sunny day with a dry field may be just the ticket to get Aramis Ramirez back in the lineup. He did pinch-hit yesterday.
Alfonso Soriano remembers what it's like to come to the Cubs as a free agent and get off to a bad start, and has some advice for Milton Bradley:
"Sometimes people come here with a lot of expectations and they try to do too much," Soriano said. "That's not the right way to go. Just play regular, normal baseball and do what you can do."
Remember Soriano's first month as a Cub in April 2007? He hit .270, but with one homer and two RBI. He wound up with 33 homers, 14 of them in September (a club record) and he carried the team into the playoffs. And he missed 27 games.
The Cubs are, as is just about everyone else, getting some common-sense advice about avoiding swine flu:
"We've had a couple of simple meetings about washing your hands, cleanliness, all the recommendations you've heard about," trainer Mark O'Neal said.
Sports teams would seem susceptible to the spread of germs, given the close proximity of players and coaches in the clubhouse, plus the fact they share a food room, weight room and training room.
The Cubs, as have all teams, received memos from the Center for Disease Control ( CDC) and have been in contact with infectious disease doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. They do not have stockpiles of medicine or antibiotics.
Hope you are all healthy. Onward to this afternoon's game:
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Ted Lilly||2-2||4||4||0||0||0||0||23.2||20||11||10||5||6||16||3.80||1.10|
|2009 - Anibal Sanchez||1-2||4||4||0||0||0||0||24.0||27||11||11||2||10||17||4.13||1.54|
That looks like a baseball obscuring part of the left side of the photo of Anibal Sanchez. Why they left this in the photo, I have no idea. Sanchez has one career start vs. the Cubs, a 2-1 win over Sean Marshall last August 16. He has faced only one Cub for more than 3 AB -- Alfonso Soriano, who was in the NL East with him for a year with the Nats. Sori has homered twice in 13 AB against Sanchez.
Ted Lilly gave up four homers in his first start in Houston, but has allowed only one since. Frankly, he's been the Cubs' most consistent starter this year, even though he got cuffed around a bit by the Diamondbacks in his last outing. He is 2-3, 3.96 in nine lifetime appearances (six starts) vs. Florida; the last time he faced them was during the 2007 season's pennant stretch, on September 25, 2007 in Miami. Expect to see Ronny Paulino behind the plate today -- he is 6-for-10 vs. Ted lifetime, with a homer. Dan Uggla has homered twice off Lilly in five career AB.
Today's game is back on cable, in both Chicago (CSN) and south Florida (FSN). However, that won't help you unless you live in the local coverage areas for those channels, because Saturday games before 6 pm CT are blacked out on MLB Extra Innings thanks to Bud's Stupid Blackout Rules. I believe -- but am not 100% certain -- that if you have MLB.TV you can see the game via the MLB.com Mediacenter. Reports from the field appreciated.
Discuss amongst yourselves.