Wednesday– The much anticipated Opening Day is almost here! Tomorrow will mark the Cubs first regular season game in the new Cubs “era” led by owner Tom Ricketts, new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, and new general manager Jed Hoyer.
Most people are predicting the Cubs to finish either fourth or fifth in the division but it is unsure of how the Cubs team will perform this year. Players such as Chris Volstad and Ian Stewart will try to prove that they can stay and compete at the major league. The change of scenery for this two players could be exactly what they need. Some players such as Bryan LaHair and Jeff Samardzija will try to take advantage of the opportunity to become starters at the major league level, not just the minors. And then players like Alfonso Soriano, Marylon Byrd, and Geovany Soto will fight to keep their position.
The start of the season for the Cubs will certainly not be easy. They will be facing a young Washington Nationals team who will be looking to finally break through and become a playoff contender. Much of their playoff hopes will be relying on the highly touted starter, Stephen Strasburg. Two years ago, Strasburg was called up in June and dominated batters, throwing multiple games with 10 strikeouts or more. He then suffered an elbow injury that required surgery. He returned late last year where he continued his domination with an ERA under two.
Now this year, Strasburg will look to pitch an injury free season. His season will begin Thursday as he gets the start for against Ryan Dempster and the Cubs. It will be Strasburg’s first start against the Cubs. The only player to face the youngster is David DeJesus who will be starting in right field. In three plate appearances, DeJesus has two hits(.667 avg). It will be an interesting day to see how the Cubs hitters will approach the hard throwing Strasburg.
Here’s a look at the pitching match ups for the weekend.
Saturday: Gio Gonzalez vs Matt Garza
Sunday: Jordan Zimmerman vs Jeff Samardjiza
I see the Cubs riding opening day momentum and taking two out of three against the Nationals.
Enjoy opening day and head over to our Chicago Cubs forum to discuss the games! http://www.chicitysports.com/forum/chicago-cubs-forum/