Lou has once again promised to play Tyler Colvin. He did this at the end of spring training, and Colvin produced when he played, but Lou sat him anyway.
After yesterday's game, Lou pledged to keep Colvin in the lineup. We'll see. But there are other problems with this lineup -- primarily at leadoff, where Ryan Theriot, since May 1, has posted a .186 BA and .205 OBA in 88 plate appearances. That's Dusty Baker hitting Corey Patterson leadoff for 29 games in 2005 territory. The Cubs are 9-10 in the 19 games Theriot has led off since May 1. That's only a mediocre record, not a terrible one, but consider this: the Cubs scored 78 runs in those 19 games -- 4.1 runs per game. Take out the 14-7 blowout of the Reds and the 10-5 win over the Diamondbacks, and it's only 3.2 runs per game in the other 17.
I'm not usually big on lineup construction debates, but this one's pretty obvious. If Theriot is even in the lineup -- which, at this point he shouldn't be except against LHP (he has a career OPS of .786 vs. LHP, as opposed to .690 vs. RHP) -- he needs to be hitting eighth! Why this wouldn't be crystal-clear to a major league manager and coaching staff is beyond me. Theriot's career OBA leading off is .345; he has a better one hitting second (.351; he has most of his career PA batting #2), and even better hitting eighth (.364 in 162 career PA).
Mike Fontenot, who's hitting well this year (.310/.358/.460 in 123 PA, all but six of them vs. RHP), is a perfect platoon partner for Theriot. I suppose you could hit him leadoff -- that .358 OBA is OK, though not great -- but he isn't a prototypical leadoff hitter. Starlin Castro might be sometime in the future -- he has seven walks in 97 PA -- but that might be too much pressure on him right now. And don't worry -- Lou told Bruce Miles it won't be Alfonso Soriano again:
"Oh my gosh," Lou said. "We’re going to keep him where he’s at. We’d like Soriano to drive in some runs for us is what we’d like. Where he’s at, he’s in a position to do just that. It’s just a question of getting him hot with the bat. He’s been streaky. He’s either hot, or he’s cold. A little more consistency would help."
Today's lineup, via tweet from Carrie, gives Soriano and Theriot the day off:
#Cubs lineup for Sunday is RF Fukudome, LF Colvin, 1B Lee, CF Byrd, 3B Ramirez, 2B Fontenot, SS Castro, C Hill, P Wells
I like this one, but I doubt you'll see it too often. Who would you lead off?
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Randy Wells||3-3||11||11||0||0||0||0||61.1||69||31||30||5||14||48||4.40||1.35|
|2010 - Brett Myers||3-3||11||11||1||0||0||0||74.0||77||31||25||6||26||59||3.04||1.39|
Brett Myers spent a lot of time on the DL last year and much of 2007 as a reliever, so most of his "recent starts" against the Cubs date back a few years. He did defeat them twice in 2008 while with the Phillies. Derrek Lee, who could use a good game or 10, has hit Myers hard -- 15-for-29 (.517) with four doubles, a triple and three HR.
Which Randy Wells do we get today? The one who couldn't get anyone out against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field a week ago Friday? Or the one who, three days later, came back and threw three shutout innings against the Pirates? Wells has made 11 starts. In two of them (the one above vs. the Cardinals and May 6 in Pittsburgh), he didn't get out of the third inning and has an ERA of 49.50. In the other nine, his combined ERA is 2.88, although oddly enough, he allowed no home runs in the two horrific outings. He faced Houston three times last year and posted a 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA (one unearned run) in 20.2 innings. Current Astros are hitting .273 off Randy (12-for-44, all singles).
Today's game is on WGN and FSN Houston. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2, 3 and 3:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.