Breaking it Down

October 03, 2007 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley


C Jason Kendall
C Chris Snyder
1B Derrek Lee
1B Conor Jackson
2B Mark DeRosa
2B Orlando Hudson
SS Ryan Theriot
3B Mark Reynolds
3B Aramis Ramirez
SS Stephen Drew
LF Alfonso Soriano
LF Eric Byrnes
CF Jacque Jones
CF Chris Young
RF Cliff Floyd
RF Jeff Salazar/Justin Upton
SP Carlos Zambrano
SP Brandon Webb
CL Ryan Dempster
CL Jose Valverde

Catcher: Snyder has committed only one error this year in over 100 games while gunning down an impressive 36% of attempted base stealers. Kendall, on the other hand, has committed 5 errors in 52 games, with a CS% of 9%. With the bat, Kendall has hit .270 for the Cubs with an OBP of .362, compared to .252/.342 for Snyder, who also jacked 13 dingers. ADVANTAGE: Arizona Push---> (UPDATE: Geovany Soto will be the Game 1 starter, providing more of an offensive spark and a semblance in The Force with Big Z.)

First Base: Not too tough to figure here. The Cubs have a Gold Glover in Derrek Lee who went 22/82/.317 with an OBP of .400. No slouches themselves, the tandem of Jackson and Tony Clark went 32/111, but you can only play one at a time. ADVANTAGE: Chicago

Second Base: Mark DeRosa has made Jim Hendry look like a genius so far this season. He’s a great team player, very versatile, got clutch hits, played hard, and was arguably the team MVP. .294/10/63 for Hudson was key for AZ as well, with his stats mirroring DeRosa’s very closely, as do their “Grinder” styles of play. All this is fine and good, but Orlando Hudson is out for the year and will be replaced by ex-Cub, Augie Ojeda. ADVANTAGE: Chicago

Shortstop: Theriot and Drew enter this postseason differently. Theriot has struggled lately, mustering only a .202 average in September. While only hitting .238 for the year, Drew finished strong, going 10 for his last 23, good for a .435 average. Drew has more pop, Theriot has more speed, both are serviceable fielders. ADVANTAGE: Push

Third Base: Aramis leads Reynolds in both offensive (.310/26/101 to .279/17/62) and defensive (.972 to.951) categories, although both run with the proverbial ‘refrigerator’ on their back. ADVANTAGE: Chicago

Left Field: To the uneducated fan, this seems like it’s not close. But that’s why you’re here, right? You come for the tutelage? Um, well, .286/21/83/50SB for Byrnes stacks up well against Soriano’s .299/33/70/19SB. Granted, Soriano missed a chunk of the season and fought leg injuries, so perhaps they are a bit skewed. Byrne’s advantage comes in his .984 Fielding Percentage to Alphie’s .978. Wait, those maybe skewed as well? Yes, Soriano can sometimes turn fly balls into adventures, and doesn’t get the best jump, but Byrne’s “aggressive” D is overrated with his dives for balls that could be caught on a run. ADVANTAGE: Chicago (slightly)

Center Field: There has been an APB put out for Jacque’s power numbers this season, but his clutch hits have come as his playing time became consistent. Although his penchant for losing pop flies in a high sky is frustrating to say the least, his D is serviceable. Chris B. Young is much like Soriano. He is the leading HR hitter on the team (32) while hitting in the leadoff slot. Solid D and speed on the base path makes him a threat, when he gets on, that is (.295 OBP). ADVANTAGE: Arizona

Right Field: Both teams have seen a revolving door in right. Upton, Salazar and Carlos Quentin have all done time in right, with little result in the way of knocking runs in (11, 10, 31). Similarly, the Cubs had a revolving door, but seem to have found an anchor in the oft-injured but currently healthy Cliff Floyd, who has been raking as of late. ADVANTAGE: Chicago

Starting Pitching: Anytime you can throw Brandon Webb twice in a five game series, you have to like your chances. Webb went 18-10 with a 3.01 ERA this season. Carlos Zambrano had a roller coaster year, going 18-13 with a 3.95 ERA, looking like Bob Gibson one day, and Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn the next. The strength lies in the number 2 and 3 starters for the Cubs, which means ADVANTAGE: Chicago (slightly)

Relief Pitching: Yeesh, Arizona is solid with 3 great setup guys in Cruz, Slaten and Lyon before turning it over to closer Valverde, who lead the league with 47 saves. The Cubs counter with the electric Carlos Marmol, the workmanlike Howry before going to the…uh, serv-, the relia-, the…Ryan Dempster. ADVANTAGE: Arizona

Series Prediction: The Cubs are the favorite in Vegas, but Arizona has the home field advantage and a better overall record. This one’s going five, folks, and will certainly be a nail biter. ADVANTAGE: a certain Midwestern town that starts with a "C", ends in an "o", and in the middle is "hicag".

Is it too late for the TBS broadcast team to change? I'd like to vote for this broadcast team. How many guys today can announce a lineup like that?