May 4, 2010

Series Preview: Chicago Cubs

PITTSBURGH, Pa. / May 4, 2010

Apologies to my three loyal readers. Law school exams have temporarily taken my attention away from this site. With only 4 exams left each of which determine 100% of my grade, I should have more time now to devote to the Pirates.

Yinz Buccos come back to town after a brutal 3-7 road trip from Pittsburgh to Houston to Milwaukee to Los Angeles and back to Pittsburgh, with no off days. That should never happen to any team; among other things it's absurd to fly to the West Coast for just one series.

Chicago Cubs - Tuesday 7:05, Wednesday 7:05, Thursday 7:05
In Chicago every bar is 100% have-to-shove-people-to-get-to-the-bathroom packed. It's nearly impossible if you don't have boobs to get a beer in under 15 minutes. So needless to say the move is to order four beers at a time.

So late one Windy City bar night, I went to the bar as usual for four Budweisers. I pay my 16 dollars, tip two (it's like you're at a stadium all the time!) and get my four longnecks. No sooner do I step away from the bar than the fucking goddamn lights come on. It was 2 a.m. and my friends had drinks they had to finish too, giving me 5 minutes to personally drink an 18 dollar round of four beers. Yeah, Chicago can be a tough town to play in. It took me seven minutes to finish.

I relate that story to illustrate the seasons that old friends Aramis Ramirez (.155/.215/.278) and John Grabow (0-2, 8.38) are having for the South Siders. Derrek Lee and Carlos Zambrano also had disappointing Aprils. The ever stalwart Cubs have relied on hot starts by middling veterans (Carlos Silva, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot) to muster a 13-13 mark.

Tuesday's game matches up Ryan Dempster (2-1, 2.78) against Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.83). Despite Dempster's ERA he's nothing but a middling starter this point in his careeer. The Pirates have always killed him and as a team have hit .300/.376/.444 against Dempster. Maholm hasn't had good stuff all season but has kept the team in every game he started, more than most Bucs starters can say. My pick is the Pirates.

Wednesday matches up Ted Lilly (1-1, 4.91) against Charlie Morton (0-5, 12.57). True fact: Ted Lilly is the most likely current MLB pitcher to balk. This is the type of knowledge that is useful in nearly any situation. Morton is unbelievably still in the rotation after allowing six more runs in his last start, although only three were earned. He has to have a good game some time and I think it'll happen Wednesday. My pick is the Pirates.

Thursday, a free T-shirt day. I ripped this design but I have since been told by an attractive female reader that this T-shirt is fine. Yes, they exist. Clearly the woman is right, and you need the shirt. Even if I argued against it any good woman would still feel that she is right, so I was wrong and I'm sorry.

The Cubs' Randy Wells (3-0, 3.45) will face a "to be announced starter" who is clearly Brian Burres (1-1, 6.00). Burres actually has done quite well since his disastrous first start in San Francisco. He threw 5.1 scoreless his last time out and since his name isn't Morton, will need to keep performing well to stay on the team when Ross Ohlendorf comes back next week.

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