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Cubs (31-28, 4th, -3.0) at Angels (34-25, 2nd, -0.5)
by alex ciepley
Alex: Tonight's game is the first of the Cubs' interleague schedule. Bleh, I could do without it, especially this year. The Cubs, with only 12 interleague games this year, nevertheless have one of the toughest AL schedules of any team, facing three strong candidates for the postseason in Anaheim, Oakland, and the White Sox.
In addition to those three teams, the Cubs have seven games against Houston and three against the Cardinals, all between now and July 4th. Strap in, this is the most brutal part of the Cubs' schedule.
9:05 PM, WGN
Greg Maddux (5-4, 4.13 ERA, 53 K/15 BB) vs. John Lackey (3-7, 5.64, 30/22)
3:05 PM, WGN
Matt Clement (7-4, 3.34, 82/28) vs. Kelvim Escobar (4-2, 3.34, 54/20)
Christian: The Cubs head west to face the only team which might be more beat up than they are. Despite losing their starting center fielder (Garrett Anderson), DH (Tim Salmon), third baseman (Troy Glaus), first baseman (Darin Erstad), key set-up man (Brendan Donnelly) and, just last week, closer (Troy Percival). They got Anderson and Salmon back this week, but also lost the recently-acquired Raul Mondesi. Throughout all of this, they managed to stay at the top of the AL West until a recent five-game skid coupled with a 5-game Oakland winning streak.
Chone Figgins and Jeff DaVannon have stepped in and joined Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Guillen as the primary offensive weapons, though their biggest strength is their bullpen, with the trio of Kevin Gregg (1.32 ERA, 9.44 K/9), Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez (1.36, 14.45) and Scot Shields (2.66, 10.18) protecting Angels leads.
The pickings are pretty slim in head-to-heads and bullpen match-ups:
Walker vs. Ortiz: 4-12, 333/385/333
Hollandsworth vs. Ortiz: 1-9, 111/200/111
Macias vs. Ortiz: 0-8, 000/000/000
Angels vs. Cubs Bullpen
Guerrero vs. Anderson: 4-9, 444/500/889, 1 HR
Guerrero vs. Remlinger: 4-11, 364/500/455
Anderson vs. Hawkins: 7-25, 280/333/440, 2 2B, 1 3B
Salmon vs. Hawkins: 5-20, 250/375/250, 4 BB
Guillen vs. Remlinger: 0-7, 000/000/000, 5 K
I'm glad Mondy's on the DL -- he's 3-for-10, with three home runs, off of Farnsworth.