Heads or Tails: Cubs' Pitching or Offense
O.K. so the Cubs are rolling. What fan of the windy city Blue and Red didn't know this would happen? If you raise your hand at that one then your and idiot.
So it's been 100 years since the last world series ring has been put on a Cubbies finger. Who cares. As far as I'm concerned the Black cat/Bartman curse has been set on fire and drowned.
The true question on every Cub heads mind is "can we keep this up?" DUHHHH. Of course we can.
But what are Cub fans leaning on Pitching or Offense?
Pitching- The Cubs aren't rolling with big names like Maddux or Prior as starters any more. Only one word for that. PERFECT. I don't know about you, but as a Cubs fan I don't like it when we are focused on our pitchers to have amazing years.
Ryan Dempster-We now have hurlers like Ryan Dempster carrying the load. Flying low under the radar Dempster worked his was out of the set-up/closer position that he was in last year and has become one of the premiere starters in the rotation.
Stats- posting a 2.81 ERA with 8 wins and only 2 losses Dempster has found himself in consideration with the games best starter.
Carlos Zambrano-Zambrano is also one of the premere starters in the league. Zambrano is being challenged as the teams ace on the hill by Dempster and I believe this is good for him. Never really being pushed by another premere pitcher on the club, Ryan and Carlos are having a friendly little battle for the team lead in wins
Stats-With nearly 100 innings pitched and 8 wins with an ERA of 2.98 Carlos is rolling on the pitching bump.
Ted Lilly-Being the Veteran on the pitching staff, Lilly provides advice off the field and a monster curve ball on the field. More of a finesse pitcher, Lilly doesn't over power the batter with a 95 mph fastball but continually comes with the big loopy breaking ball and a nasty change-up.
Stats-Not having a stellar year Lilly has a 5.13 Era and is one game over 500 with a 6-5 record.
Jason Marquis- Mr. Marquis, the number 4 starter, adds depth and poise to the Cubs' rotation. Not exactly spectacular Marquis is having a respectable year. In terms of a #4 starter Marquis is as good as they come with veteran poise and solid outings
Stats- Marquis is on pace for his predictable average 12-9 seasons and a mid 4's ERA
Sean Gallagher-Being the cubs "young gun" pitcher Gallagher is the #5 starter. Starting in his first full major league season Sean is doing as well as expected as he made his way through the farm system. Some Cub fans would love to see this 22 year old make more starts(instead of coming out of the bullpen like his last 2 outings) and see if the Cubs can't get 15 to 18 wins out of this young pitcher.
Stats- Gallagher is doing well as a rookie, with a 3-2 record and a 4.42 ERA giving up only 1 run in his last 4 innings out of the bullpen.
With pitching being near the top of the Major Leagues some Cub fans may say that it's the starting pitchers carrying the team. Don't, however, over look the Cubbies bullpen.
Carlos Marmol- This Dominican Republican is INSANE. arguably the best set-up man in the game Marmol has been lights out in the 7th and 8th inning. Some Cub heads feel this man, with a cannon for an arm, should be the Cubs closer. This issue is quite disputable.
Stats-With an almost 1.5 strikeouts per inning and an ERA of 2.20 Marmol is a name Cub fans are becoming quite comfortable with.
Kerry Wood- aahhhh Kerry Wood. what is there to say about this guy? ooh man there is a lot. He seems to finally have found himself in a position to make a good contribution to the team.
Stats- with no earned runs in his last 10 appearances Wood is rolling with 18 saves and a falling ERA currently at 2.48
Some people would say that pitching as a whole is one of the main reasons that Chicago (NL) is leading the majors with the best record in baseball. Others would argue another point, that offense is the key to their success.
Offense. A word that most Cub fans aren't accustom to. But this year is different. WAY DIFFERENT. the Cubs have 75 homeruns as a team and 559 RBI on the season.
I don't know about you, but as a Cubs fan I'm loving those numbers.
Key additions to the Cubbies have lofted them to the top of the major leagues with the best record in baseball.
Kosuke Fukudome-Japanese ball players don't get much better than this right fielder. The addition of this left handed bat to the middle of the line-up has sparked the Cubs to score score score.
Aramis Ramirez- The Hot corner is taken up well by the presence of Aramis. With a steady 9 home runs and 43 RBIs and batting near .300 Ramirez is working his way towards career numbers if he stays healthy.
Derek Lee- First base hasn't seen a better player for the Cubs in over 20 years. Lee is chasing the home run lead in the majors with his 14, only 7 away from the lead, and his 41 RBI's. Starting off slow has been a problem for Lee in the beginning of seasons, but that doesn't seem to be a problem this year.
Alfonso Soriano-The big money that the Cubs paid for this guy actually have started to pay off(when hes not injured). Soriano was on a roll before his hand was hit by a pitch earlier this week. With 15 home runs in only 51 games this season, if this slugger could stay healthy then the Cubbies are a sure in for the NL race.
Geovany Soto-monster. that is the perfect word to describe this rookie catcher. quickly brought up through the minor leagues Soto made in major league debut last year and finished on fire. The flames carried over to this year and he is considered the best catcher in the NL, leading vote getter in the All-star voting. with 11 homers and 42 RBIs Cub fans are foaming at the mouth for this guy. If he keeps on pace we could be looking at a 30 homer 120 RBI season and a smile on every Cubbies face.
Jim Edmonds- Man what a pick up for the Cubs. Jimmy's bat has slowly been heating up and his glove is solid as always. Cub fans have slowly been warming up to this once former St. Louis Cardinal and the red and royal blue look good on the veteran.
Reed Johnson- picked up from the Toronto Blue Jays a few weeks ago. This center fielder is a young Jim Edmonds. solid defense and a quick bat allow this amazing athlete to sneak into the line up and switch off with Edmonds in center.
Ryan Theriot- Solid short stop is what describes this young man. Staying injury free is what makes this man valuable. Cub fans can always count on looking at that lineup card and seeing Theriot a SS. Batting .316 and starting all but five games this season. This SS is consistency and fielding gold in this Cubs' lineup
So the question is: Pitching or Offense? Some would say it's the starters. Some would say it's the bullpen. Others would comment on the offense and its consistency.
What do you think is the biggest reason for the Chicago Cubs' Success?
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