Friday, May 7, 2010

Series #10: The Reds...again already?

This is late because work found a way to block my ability to publish again.  I usually have these thing written ahead of time, and spend my lunch break proofreading...oh well...I just have to go find a new job now I suppose...maybe one in Chicago?  :)

 I miss Dusty.  But I'm glad he's someone else's manager now.

Anyway, the Cubs are playing in Cincinnati for the second time in less than a month.  I hate the dart board that is the MLB schedule algorithm.  Actually, I'm fairly sure if they did use a dart board, they would come up with a better schedule than this...but that's a discussion for another day.

The Reds coming into this series with a .500 record...which is where I think they will probably finish the season too.

Like the last two teams the Cubs have faced...the Reds have some pitching least in their starting rotation.

Offensively, they are doing only average.  They are in the middle of the league in runs scored, but are approaching the bottom of the league in batting average and in true Dusty Baker form, and second to last in OBP.

The biggest offensive bright spots for the Reds right now are Joey Votto, Orlando Cabrera and Scott Rolen, but with Cabrera leading the team in RBI with 16, the Reds will struggle to find an All-Star position player.

Votto has been a bright spit on that!

The rotation is pretty bad, and you have to continue to wonder how long it will be until Aroldis Chapman will be called up.  The lone bright spot has been Mike Leake who is 2-0 with an ERA under 3.00 in 5 starts.

The bullpen is fairly solid and is probably the strongest point for this team.  It is important to get to the starters because trying to make a late game comeback against this team (as the Cubs found out last month) is a tough task.

For the rest of the analysis on the Baker Boys, see what I wrote about them 4 weeks ago.

The Cubs lost that previous series 2 games to 1.


The matchups:

Tonight the Orca faces Homer Bailey.  Silva is coming off his worst start as a Cub.  We'll see if this is a new pattern after the fantastic start.  Bailey has had a hard time of it this year.  He's 0-1 with an ERA over 6.00.  The Cubs have hit Bailey fairly well over his short career and they scored 3 runs off of him in 5 inning during his start last month.

Tomorrow we have the Battle of the Ogres!  Sloth vs. Harang.  Harang has been really bad ever since Dusty Baker became manager of this team.  That 2007 was fantastic for him and he was in consideration for the Cy Young award that year.  So far this season, Harang has been really bad that there has been talk about moving Harang to the bullpen.  The Cubs have met with some occasional success against Harang, but he's pitched some really good games against them too.  Gorzelanny pitched well in his last start and finally picked up a win.  In his start against the Reds earlier this year he pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up no runs in a no decision (the Cubs eventually lost that game).

 Leake didn't pitch a single day in the minor leagues.

Sunday, Ryan Dempster vs. Mike Leake.  Dempster has been a workhorse so far this year and has gone 4 straight starts where he has pitched 7 innings or more.  Mike Leake is another wonderful rookie arm that Dusty Baker will attempt to ruin.  He's been very good so far in his young career and handled the Cubs very well when he made his debut last month.  Hopefully the Cubs scouts have figured out a way to get to this kid and we can knock him around this time.


Look, the Reds are only an average team right now...and with a rookie as their best pitcher, the Cubs should, in theory handle these guys.  With the bullpen fairly stable now, and the starters continuing to pitch well (forget last night), the offense needs to step up this weekend.  Let's hope Castro can add a little something that we've been missing.