At some point in the near future, opposing teams are going to “figure out” Fukudome and he will have to make some adjustments, but until then let’s enjoy his sensational play.  I was a little worried that if Fukudome struggled to start the season, the right field bleacher morons bums would let him have it and make the problem worse, a la Jacque Jones in ’06.  Now, however, the opposite will probably happen: even if Fukudome struggles mightily, his fantastic play early in the year will earn him the benefit of the doubt (and support) of Cubs fans the world over.

Tomorrow’s game pits Z against Brandon Backe.  What’s gonna happen?  Consider the following:

1) Z sucks on 5 days’ rest

He’s 22-21 with a 4.70 ERA on 5 days’ rest; on 4 days’ rest, he’s 49-25 with a 2.65 ERA.

2) Carlos Lee tees off on Z

He’s hitting .366/.422/.780 lifetime off of the other Big Carlos.  Yikes.

On the other hand, consider these facts:

1) Rammy likes him some Backe

.357/.400/.571 lifetime (17 PAs).

2) Brandon Backe is Brandon Backe

He walks almost as many as he strikes out.  He can’t stay healthy.  He’s not, um, good.  At all.

So, on paper, tomorrow’s game favors the Cubs.  Zambrano, even on an extra day of rest, is better than Backe, and the Cubs should be able to beat him.  They will probably lose 10-8.

Side note: Backe can hit.  His lifetime numbers are a Theriot-esque .241/.298/.391, and he has two career homers.  So we have the pleasure of seeing 17 starting players (that is, everyone but Theriot) who can hit tomorrow (16 if Ausmus starts).

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