Monday, August 6, 2007

8/07/07 CHI @ HOU Game 2 Preview!

Definitely not a good path to take offensively when one of your all-star bats goes down huh? The offense really had trouble tonight, this is true; I'm wondering, however, if it's more because they faced a lefty who's unstoppable at home or that they truly took a large morale hit with Soriano out. The Cubs will hit something like 5-6 straight right handers now, so that should really put a scope on how the Soriano-less offense will produce. On the bright side of things, the pitching looked wonderful and Hill had a really nice confidence building start. The bullpen was doing well but the Astros simply beat them by doing a nice job of manufacturing the winning run. I, of course, am still not anywhere near calling this season lost. Go Cubs, and Keep the Faith.

* 8/07/07 - 7:05 PM CDT: Chicago Cubs (58-53, 2nd NLC); (28-25 Road W-L) @ Houston Astros (49-63, 4th NLC); (29-25 Home W-L)

-Weather Forecast-
Forecast : 90°F
Feels like: 100°F
Sunset: 8:10 PM
Probability of Precip:20 %
Outlook: Sunny with Wind From the S at 9 mph (Out to right-center.)
Overall: Going to be a scorcher pre-game around the park.

Pitching Match up: Sean Marshall *LHP* (5-5, 3.86 ERA;1.34 WHIP) vs. Woody Williams *RHP* (5-12, 5.37 ERA;1.42 WHIP)

Analysis:

-Woody Williams-

  • Introduction: Age- 40, 07' Salary- $6,000,000, Astros are 9-14 when Williams takes the mound.
  • Baserunners: Williams allows base runners at a poor rate of 1.42 per inning and strands an OK 69.4% of them. Baserunners are 8 for 12 (.667%) against Woody in the steals department.
  • Contact: Williams is every bit a contact pitcher with a lousy 4.5 K's per 9 innings. Of that contact given up, 18.3% of it goes for a line drive. Overall, he's allowed 161 hits in 139 innings of work: Not a good rate. He does combine this with a 2.3 Walks per 9 though, which is a big reason why he's not doing any worse.
  • Homerun Prevention: Williams is a flyball pitcher with a 38.5% groundball rate. Of the flyballs given up, a high 13.5% of them have left the yard. In 139 innings of work this year, he has surrendered 25 homeruns (A horrible 1.62 per 9). To put it simply, he's terrible at keeping the ball in the yard.
  • Overall: Overall we have an aging contact/flyball righty who gives up plenty of hits and way too many homeruns. He can limit the walks however.
  • Home/Road: Williams hasn't been too good at home this year. In 9 home starts, he is 3-4 with a 5.33 ERA and .299 Opponent's batting average. 12 of his 25 homeruns have been surrendered at home.
  • Career vs. opposing club: In 18 Appearances and 17 starts against Chicago, Williams is 3-9 with a 4.42 ERA and .275 Opponent's batting average (106 innings).
  • Season vs. opposing club: In 2 starts (both at Wrigley) against Chicago this year, Woody is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA (13 innings).
  • Recent: In 4 starts since the All-star break, Williams is 1-2 with a 5.54 ERA and .302 Opponent's batting average. In his last start at Atlanta, he went 5 innings while surrendering 7 earned runs on 13 hits and 0 walks to 2 strikeouts.

-Sean Marshall-

  • Introduction: Age- 24, 07' Salary: $400,000, The Cubs are 7-6 when Marshall takes the mound.
  • Baserunners: Marshall allows baserunners at an average rate of 1.34 per inning and strands an ok 73.4% of them. Runners have 5 stolen base attempts against Marshall this year, and were successful in 4 (.800%).
  • Contact: Marshall has a solid 6.2 K's per 9 and allows an average amount of contact. Of those batted balls given up, 17% of them go for line drives. Overall, he has 74 hits allowed in 72.1 innings: Not bad, but not good. He has a 2.9 walks per 9 and gets in trouble when combines that hit rate with a few too many walks.
  • Homerun Prevention: Marshall is more of a groundball left with a nice 46.7% groundball rate. Of the fly balls he does give up, only 8.6% of them have gone for homeruns. Overall, his homerun prevention has been very good at 7 homeruns allowed in 72.1 innings (0.87 per 9).
  • Overall: Overall Marshall is an average contact lefty with a good groundball rate that leads to very good homerun prevention. He does allow too many baserunners VIA the walk and base hit though.
  • Home/Road: Marshall has been wonderful on the road this year. In 6 starts away starts, He is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA and .227 Opponent's batting average. 4 of his 7 homeruns have been allowed on the road. He never had a start at Minute Maid Park. In 2 starts (14 innings) at Minute Maid park, Marshall is 1-1 with 0.64 ERA.
  • Career vs. opposing club: In 3 starts against the Astros, Sean is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA and .262 Opponents Batting Average (18 innings).
  • Season vs. opposing club: Marshall has not faced the Astrps this year.
  • Recent: In 4 starts since the All-star break, Marshall is 1-2 with a 4.79 ERA and .294 Opponent's batting average. In his last start against Philadelphia, Marshall went just 2.2 innings while giving up 7 earned runs on 9 hits and 1 walks to 2 strikeouts.

--OFFENSE--

-CUBS- Yet another loss to a lefty starter for the Cubs. This time the Cubs got shutdown by a lefty starter who's practically unstoppable at home. Can the Cubs still fare well against righties with Soriano out? They have the talent in the middle of the order, and they're hoping Theriot can keep it up.

-I- Who's hot?: Jacque Jones is 8 for his last 22 (.364) with 4 doubles and 4 RBIs.
-II- Who's not?: Angel Pagan is 4 for his last 27 (.148).

-III- Killer Kendall: Jason Kendall is 18 for 35 (.514/.553/.657) lifetime against Williams with 2 doubles, a homer, and 4 stolen bases. Cliff Floyd is 10 for 27 (.370/.393/.630) with a double and 2 homers. Derrek Lee is 10 for 31 (.323/.400/.419). Ramirez is 13 for 43 (.302/.333/.488).
-IV- DeRo no HeRo: Mark DeRosa is 1 for 10 (.100/.100/.10) lifetime against Williams.

-Astros- The Astro offense didn't really show up in game 1 either. They have the talent in the middle of their order but not much surrounds it.

-I- Killer B's?: Chris Burke is 5 for 7 (.714/.714/1.143) lifetime against Marshall with a homer. Craig Biggio is 3 for 9 (.333/.400/.444).

-I- But not this one: Lance Berkman is 2 for 9 (.222/.300/.333) lifetime against Marshall with a double.

-III- Who's hot?: Carlos Lee is 10 for his last 26 (.385) with a pair of homers and doubles during that stretch.
-IV-
Who's not: Brad Ausmus is batting just 8 for 49 (.163) since the All-star Break.

What to hope for:
- The Soriano-less offense can still take of business against Right-handed starters.


What to watch for:
- Sean Marshall supposedly had an "eye" problem during his last start. The Cubs will face their first righty starter since Soriano went down. Here comes the real test.

Projected Lineup: (Putting a lot of risk in 1-2 tonight.)
1- Theriot SS
2- Patterson LF
3- Lee 1B
4- Ramirez 3B
5- Floyd RF
6- DeRosa 2B
7- Jones CF
8- Kendall C
9- Marshall P

Go Cubs!

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