Survival of the Dumbest


Not really. But let’s be honest: 1-3 is not good, and 1-4 is even worse, and that’s what the Cubs are staring at if they can’t find a way to beat Roy Oswalt later today. I do not like Roy Oswalt, but he is, of course, one of the best pitchers in the league. Opposing him today will be Jason Marquis, who is not one of the best pitchers in the league. What to watch out for:

1) Berkman, Lee, Wiggington

All three have faced Marquis a lot, and all three have hit him HARD. Berkman in particular tees off against the Staten Island Suckmeister, having posted a 1.409 OPS against Marquis during his career.

2) DeRosa!

Mark DeRosa has faced Oswalt 18 times and gotten 9 hits, including 4 doubles! Unfortunately, none of the other Cubs with a significant number of plate appearances against Oswalt has fared very well, although Derrek Lee (.262/.340/.476 in 47 PAs) has not sucked, either.

Look, this matchup does not look good on paper; let’s prepare ourselves to be 1-4 (eck) but hope that the Cubs can somehow replicate the magic of this game from last July when they pounded Oswalt. (Strangely, the Franco-Cubs (Theriot, Fontenot, Jacque Jones) didn’t fare well that day, despite it being Bastille Day.) I would kind of like to see Ronny Cedeño in there today (gulp): he’s had some success in his career against Oswalt (small sample size, I know, I know), and Theriot isn’t exactly hitting the cover off the ball so far this year. I’m sure Lou would stick Ronny near the bottom of the lineup and move Fukudome up to the second slot, which would be nice to see. Here’s hoping.

I’ll save my Roy Oswalt rant for another day–basically, I think he’s one of many things that’s terribly wrong with this country–but I just wanted to alert any readers (there are, like, three of you) to the fact that Mr. Oswalt will not be making his scheduled start against the Brewers tonight.  He has another tractor to buy or some shit.

No, no, his wife is pregnant with his midget redneck spawn, so he’s going home to his survivalist camp house in the woods to be with her (and probably do some huntin’, too).  Luckily, Houston is placing the game in the capable hands of…Felipe Paulino!  Yay!  Ben Sheets will be starting for the Brewers unless he hurts his finger.  To sum up: the Cubs are effectively ahead by a half game, and Z better be good on three days’ rest.  I’d like to see him do what he did last time and use his sinker to induce ground balls.  It will save his arm, allowing him to go deeper into the game, and it’s gotta be easier to be a sinkerballer on three days’ rest than a power pitcher.  Just a thought.

Last night’s game: awesome.  That’s all.  Also, Rich Hill has gotten some bad breaks lately.  I know his BAbip against was like -2,000,000 early in the season, but he’s had two starts lately–last night and the start against Pittsburgh on September 7th–where the other team dinked and dunked their way on base.  Earlier in the year, it seemed like the only way teams could score against him was with the homer, but now they’re getting base hits.  You know what, though?  He keeps posting a K/9 rate of 8.56 and a BB/9 rate of 2.93, and he’s gonna be fine.  I think we’re gonna see some 3.50 ERA, 17 win seasons from Rich in the next few years.  I don’t think he’ll win a Cy Young, but he’s going to be one of the best #2s in the league.

Godspeed, Felipe Paulino.