Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Deep in the Heat of the Texas

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Cubs are taking ealry BP in the 90-plus-degree heat of open-roofed Houston Juice Box, but it's hard to tell whether all the sweat is a result of the Houston weather or all the heat radiating off Alfonso Soriano.

As anybody who follows baseball knows by now, the two hottest hitters in the majors are poised to upstage a 1-vs.-3 National League Central matchup in Houston the next three nights.

So who stays the hottest as Soriano (.525, seven homers last 10 games) and Houston's Lance Berkman (.500, five homers last 10 games) go head to head? And which streak trumps which streak -- Cubs' 8-for-10 at home or Houston's 7-for-10 on the road as they open this series? Do the starters -- Brian Moehler and Ted Lilly -- have a chance?

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I'll take the guy with the disciplined approach at the plate, a career batting average of .304 and an OBP of .415. Yeah, I'll take that guy.

I'll take the guy who goes against the horrible pitching. Soriano will rake the Astros since even Oswalt stinks this year.

I'll take the guy who goes against the horrible pitching. Soriano will raked the Astros since even Oswalt stinks this year.

Yeah, Soriano really raked the Astros this week as the Astros won the series with our horrible pitching and even worse batting. Oswalt "stinks" as you put it because he probably has some sort of arm or shoulder problem that he hasn't let on about. You wouldn't have noticed because you don't see him as often as we do but he hasn't thrown his usual biting slider/curveball to save his life since the season started. Add to that his recent groin injury and yeah he's getting lit up. I'd still rather have him in the rotation hurt than most pitchers healthy. Soriano is probably more streaky, but the Big Puma isn't going to fade away. The Astros road streak is better. They stumbled back into H-Town jet-lagged and road weary to lose the first game with the Cubs and then got right back into the swing of things winning two. Obviously Lilly had more of a chance as he's a better pitcher. Moehler is a stop gap measure till Rodriguez gets back, but he's been decent. Happy Centennial Cubs fans.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on May 19, 2008 2:22 PM.

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