The Chicago Cubs are going to the playoffs for the second time in as many years. The last time the cubs went to the playoffs in back to back years was 1907 and 1908. Keep in mind they won in both years. But this year is 2008, one hundred years anniversary from the last ring for the cubs and the first with Wrigley Field. Every cub fan has hopes for the cubbies and high expectations. This year is no different, the Cubs are arguebly the best team in baseball and the best in the National League.
As to what to expect from the cubs this postseason, Do not expect what happened last year to repeat. This is not the same team as last year with the additions with Edmonds, Johnson, Harden, Fukudome, and the first full season with Soto.
There also has been different players playing different roles for the Cubs in 08. One of the biggest role change has been the addition of Ryan Dempster to the starting rotation. Many cub fans were ready to waive the flag everytime he took the mound in the 9th last year, but this year he is a big time starter. To fill the hole of Dempster as the closer was Kerry Wood. Wood has proven not to be an effective starter again, but a All-Star closer. Going in to the 8th inning with Marmol and Wood, the game might be pretty much over.
As to what to expect from the Cubs starters: Ryan Dempster- This postseason will be the first time in a long time he will take the hill in the first inning. But he is a proven verteran and a proven winner this year. This postseason will be solid for the guy to pitch game 1 of the playoffs, so expect the cubs to start 1-0!
Carlos Zambrano- The work horse of the team. Recently coming off a no hitter and a couple of dissappointing outings after. But Zambrano will not be his no hit stuff all the time but will be solid and give the high powered offense to win games.
Rich Harden- C.C. Who?? Yeah Sabathia is having a cy young year with the Brewers. But remember the begginging of the year with the Indians, he could not get an out. Rich Harden has shown no dissappointment with the cubs and the fans. Mano y mano with Sabathia, Harden wins. Many doubters were against Harden with the injury proin pitcher. Dont expect a loss for Harden in the playoffs!
Ted Lilly- Last year Lilly was very solid but struggled in his one outting in the playoffs. This year he stuggles early but has picked it up as of late. He is shakey at times but also solid at times. Expect a so-so playoffs for Lilly.
I'm not going to go that far in depth with all the position players but will give a brief idea of each.
Soto- Rookie of the year possible- nothing less in October B
Lee- Almost as consistant player there is. Solid Postseason A
Derosa- so-so C+
Fukudome - D+