Aramis Ramirez caused the US debt downgrade (also, mini Cubs-Braves preview)

Cubs Legend Todd Hollandsworth shot his mouth off on the radio today (recap at HBT).

Then you bring into question effort and that’s one thing in the game of baseball that really is inexcusable. One hundred percent effort all the time, there’s really no reason for you not to have 100 percent effort. He’s got impressionable kids around him right now: Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, these kids are growing up, they’re watching it and you know what, they’re not getting any better.

Yes, let’s blame Aramis Ramirez for Darwin Barney hitting almost exactly like we might expect based on his minor league numbers. Also, that Starlin Castro kid has really hit like shit since he came up to the majors too. But I guess that Ramirez has caused Tyler Colvin to stop hitting this season. He also injured Andrew Cashner‘s shoulder when he wasn’t looking. One thing you may not know is that when John McDonough tacked on an extra two years to Soriano’s contract, Ramirez was holding a gun to his head. His bad example running out a grounder on July 12 was the seed that inspired Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the US debt. At least he can’t be blamed for global warming.

Cubs-Braves preview

Cubs Braves
wOBA .317 (8th) .309 (10th)
UBR -14.1 (16th) 0.6 (9th)
UZR -20.1 (13th) -22.9 (15th)
SP FIP 4.17 (12th) 3.62 (3rd)
RP FIP 4.00 (15th) 3.15 (1st)

I knew the Braves had great pitching, but I thought that overall they were a much better team. Of course, their biggest problem this year has been the complete disappearance of Jason Heyward‘s bat (.315 wOBA). Alex Gonzalez has been particularly putrid at SS for them, posting a 66 wRC+ in 466 PAs and counting. They are getting good offensive production from rookie 1b Freddie Freeman at least. Defensively, the combination of Freeman, Dan Uggla, and Nate McLouth have combined to post a -25.6 UZR on the season. Now that they’ve replaced McLouth with the speedy Michael Bourn in CF their team defense should see great improvement.

Pitching Matchups

Friday: Carlos Zambrano, RHP (4.46, 4.19, 4.24, 3.89) vs Mike Minor, LHP (4.85, 2.73, 3.90, 3.54), 7:15 PM CT

Minor is filling in for the injured Tommy Hanson. He’s one of the Braves top prospects, but I’ve heard muttering from folks on the twitters that he’s slipping a bit this year.

Saturday: Randy Wells, RHP (6.05, 5.44, 4.33, 4.26) vs Derek Lowe, RHP (4.78, 3.67, 3.68, 3.80), 7:15 PM CT

Braves fans have been complaining all year about Derek Lowe, and there’s been lots of speculation as to whether he’d even make the playoff rotation. When I look at his numbers I simply see a groundball machine with lousy infield defense.

Sunday: Matt Garza RHP (3.81, 3.14, 3.12, 3.70) vs Brandon Beachy, RHP (3.43, 3.81, 3.45, 3.38), 1:35 PM CT

I keep confusing Beachy with some other rookie SP with the Mariners that everyone was all over in the preseason (too lazy to look him up). Beachy is having a great rookie season. Unlike Lowe he’s an extreme fly ball pitcher

Prediction

Cubs swept. Atlanta is a much, much better team.


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