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Reviewin' & Previewin

Monday, April 18, 2005

Well, the Cubs went to PNC Park this weekend to play the Pirates. They won two of three and are back at .500. Until the next time he pitches, I've got some questions about Carlos Zambrano who has sandwiched a Cy Young caliber start in between two fairly mediocre performances.

But, its still early. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself 7.4% of the way through the season. But... nobody told Derrek Lee it is still April.

I had this to say over at Cub-Town last Friday.

Don't kill me... but is Derrek Lee really having that great of an April?

The 11 RBI's look MVP worthy, except that 10 of them have come in two outstanding games. If you take away opening day and the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader, Lee's line looks a bit more like April.

12 hits, 33 AB, 9 BB, 4 SO, 1 SF, 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, .364/.488/.636/1.125

06 hits, 24 AB, 8 BB, 3 SO, 0 SF, 1 2B, 0 HR, 01 RBI, .250/.438/.291/0.729

I guess what I'm saying is that D-Lee has had two MONSTER games, and otherwise he has struggled with his power (although not his OBP). I wouldn't claim Lee has been cured of his April problems... but I sure hope he has.

Of course, Derek (Smart) came back at me with the sample size argument (he's right), and told me I can't remove 22% of Lee's games without seriously hurting my argument.

The point became moot on Sunday though as D-Lee went three for four with another three RBI. So, I'll eat my words again... Lee is having a monster April, and I'm thrilled.

OK, lets see... the rest of the series? Zambrano mediocre, Cubs lose on Friday. Dempster pretty good, Cubs win on Saturday. Greg Maddux, April Start, uh-oh... what's that you say? 6 IP, 5 Hits, 0 Walks, 2 Earned that shouldn't have been earned runs? WooHoo! Its Maddux time again in 2005. Cubs win Sunday.

After Sunday's matinee, The Cubs came a bit further west and stopped in Cincinnati for two games. (But first, I have a question: How can I spell Albuquerque, but still can't spell Cincinnati without looking it up?)

Monday, Monday, Its just that way: Kerry Wood vs. Matt Belisle
Tuesday: Mark Prior vs. Brandon Claussen

Hmmm... not going to pretend I've heard of Matt Belisle (he has a career ERA of 3.52 in 7.2 IP). But, it is his second career start and so he'll probably beat us. I'm not being fatalistic here... its just that history tends to repeat itself. Still, Kerry Wood is on the mound and I think/hope he'll turn it around. Byron's prediction: Cubs Win.

On Tuesday: I hated on Mark Prior last week... he came out and proved me an unpleasant jerk. So, I'd better right the wrong. Byron's Prediction: Cubs Win.

This will make this my second consecutive series in which I've predicted a Cubs sweep. I hope we do, because I'm itching to break out the Nimbus 2000.

Finally, a bolder predictions says that if the Cubs sweep this series... they can wave .500 goodbye for the year. I've got 'em winning 94.

Posted by Byron at April 18, 2005 5:22 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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When are you gonna learn. Wood's overrated. By about a parsec.

Yeah, I know. I originally had written that the Cubs would lose because they were facing some unheralded rookie... but then I thought better of myself. I thought, lets stay positive. We're on a two game winning streak... we can get to this pitcher... and Wood is due.

Well, no more. Kerry has to earn his from now on out.

As long as we are trying to stay positive, how about not overanalyzing Derrek Lee's stats? Take away the best two games of anyone this early and you will not find that outstanding of a performance. Derrek is having a great April so far, 2 monstor games or not. I commented as such early on in my post, Turning History on its Head. As I do not yet know how to do the link thing within a post, you will just have to go to it the hard way.
T Miles

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