Friday, May 21, 2010

Lou decides a 4 game winning streak is long enough...lets Grabow lose the game.

Yes the wonderful 4 game winning streak came to an end yesterday.

And it probably didn't have to.

The result of bring John Grabow into the game was so predictable that people were actually tweeting exactly what would happen minutes before it did yesterday.

So, for the week the Cubs are now 3-1 and the head to Texas tonight.

What do we know about Texas?

Well, their owner is completely bankrupt.

Their creditors are refusing the deal to let a group that includes one of my favorite players of all time, Nolan Ryan, to buy the team.

Major League Baseball and Bud Selig are planning to step in and take control of the team if this doesn't get resolved soon.

Oh...and they are in first place in the AL West.  They aren't just in first place by a 1/2 game or something either...they are up by 4 full games right now over the Oakland A's.

In the end, the Angels will win this division...but for now, the Rangers have done a good job hanging in there and being competitive in a very difficult situation.  And they don't even have Rudy Jaramillo as their hitting coach or Marlon Byrd in center field anymore.  Hmm.....

So how has Texas done this?  Well, they can score runs fairly well...and their pitching isn't too bad.  In my opinion, they have a very solid coaching staff with Ron Washington as their manager (highly underrated), Clint Hurdle as their hitting coach, and Mike Maddux as the pitching coach.  Most Cubs fans remember Maddux not only as the older, and less nerdy, brother of the great Greg Maddux, but also as the pitching coach of the Brewers for a few years...years in which the Brewers pitching staff actually did a pretty good job.  This is Maddux's second year as pitching coach in Texas, and he has done a good job improving the staff on a team traditionally known for its offense.

Here are the matchups this weekend:

Tonight:  Ted Lilly vs. Colby Lewis

Lilly has been just ok since coming off the DL.  The thing to continue to watch with Ted is his velocity.  It has been better over the last couple starts, but is still a bit of a concern.  I expect him to struggle a bit a fly ball pitcher, he might have problems keeping the ball in the park in the hitter friendly stadium there in Arlington.  Colby Lewis has been around...but he just hasn't been around here for a while.  He has spent the last several seasons playing in Japan.  He has pitched fairly well this year.  He has never faced the Cubs.

Tomorrow:  Randy Wells vs. Derek Holland

Wells has been very good since that joke of an outing a few weeks ago.  In fact, outside of that outing, he has been fantastic.  Holland, after struggling in his first season last year, started the year in AAA.  This will be his 3rd start of the season.

Sunday:  The Orca vs. C.J. Wilson

Silva is currently the Cubs best starter.  Go ahead...argue with me...I don't care.  That's what I think.  Wilson has been around for a number of years, but until this year, he was only a relief pitcher.  So far this year, Wilson has been great.  He did have a bad start his last time out against the Angels, but before that game, his ERA was well under 2.00.

Lewis is a right hander...expect the normal Cubs lineup tonight.  Holland and Wilson are God knows who Lou will run out there for those games.  I'm expecting Koyie Hill will probably get the start in center field for one of those games.