Aaron Harang (1-2, 2.70 ERA) vs. Carlos Zambrano (1-0, 5.21 ERA)
It's another rubber game for the Chicago Cubs (or as I hoakingly called it, a Rubber Match). In his last outing, Carlos Zambrano went 7 innings and gave up 7 runs. Aaron Harang, meanwhile, appears to be his old self pre Dusty-Destructo days.
Amazingly, Jeff Samardzija appears to be headed to Chicago. I call it "amazing" because in order to make room for him, the Cubs are cutting a guy with a 0.00 ERA. I'm referring to Luis Vizcaino who has 2 hits allowed, 3 strikeouts and 0 walks in 3.2 innings of work. He's called "seldom used" by the Tribune although at this point he's pitched in 31% of the Cubs games - putting him on pace for 50 over a full season.
Maybe Lou sees something that the stat lines don't convey, but it's a little baffling that he and his 4 million owed would get cut over Neal Cotts who has turned into a pitching masochist.
Also still on the team are Dave Patton - 5.79 ERA - and Angel Guzman - 5.87 ERA. It just seems weird. Then again, Luis Vizcaino never even got his own tag here at GROTA, so maybe it was just ... destiny.
Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome - It's a strange definition of "hot." It's more like "who got a hit yesterday." But Soriano is now batting .304, by far his best start as a Cub. Fukudome is at .348. Ramirez is batting .362. And Lee, who started out slow and was sluggish against the Cardinals, is still batting an impressive .344 in his last 29 at bats.
Geovany Soto - He went 0 for 4 yesterday and is now batting .115 on the season. I have a feeling that barring a really, really hot May, an All Star selection is not in Soto's future for 2009.
Milton Bradley - Lou's cleanup hitter is batting .043 on the season right now and the Cubs are still 8-5 after 13 games. Here's a little fun math for you. If Bradley finishes the year with a .300 batting average in 520 at bats, he'll need to go 155 for his next 497, which is a .312 AVG. Actually, when I put it that way it seems very possible and nothing at all to worry about. Let's talk about Bradley again 23 at bats from now.
The Cubs are in a crowded NL Central right now. By that I mean that they are 1 of 4 teams playing better-than-.500 baseball. Can you believe that the Pirates have 9 wins right now?
The Reds are 8-6 and are poised to hurdle Chicago in the standings if they win today. And if they win I hope they enjoy it because it won't last.
Dear Dude, as somebody who once managed the Cubs I can tell you that it's awfully tempting to change the way you manage to placate the fans who boo ya. But I'm a winner, always have been. I took my team to the World Series as recently as 2002, which is a lot more recent than you, dude. And I'm telling you right now - walks don't win games. You can have 10 walks in a game, dude, but if you have nobody hitting the ball you will lose. So take it from me - get your guys to play more aggressively tomorrow. Forget the walks. Get them to swing the hot bats. I know it will make our job tougher, but I love you dude. I want to help.
Signed, Johnny B.
If that's similar to the letter that Lou received (but without words like "placate"), then he must have listened because the Cubs drew a big fat zero walks against the Reds last night.
They also only managed 6 hits, 5 of which came from the 1-3 batters (2 by Sori and D-Lee).
Meanwhile Ted Lilly became the answer to a triva question last night. Name the most recent pitcher to lose a game without allowing an earned run. (I'm sure it happens fairly often, but Lilly went 7 strong, allowing 5 hits, 0 walks and 0 earned runs) but it can't really be argued that he deserved the loss. After all, that unearned run was the eventual result of a Ted Lilly fielding error.
The bullpen - today being Angel Guzman and Kevin Gregg - gave up a couple of garbage runs that really meant nothing.
Milton Bradley went 0 for 4 again. Back in February and March a lot of us - myself included - were hoping aloud that he wouldn't have a bad start because Cub fans will turn on new players very quickly and Bradley is a volatile athlete. And although starting the season with a.043 AVG is really, really something a player doesn't want to do (duh), one hot month will put him right back to where he should be.
For now, he'll just be the poster child of my Small Sample Sizes argument.
Johnny Cueto (0-1, 4.22 ERA) vs. Ted Lilly (2-0, 3.86 ERA)
The Cubs try and take game two tonight against the Cincinnati Reds. It is the second night game at Wrigley. The weather has played a big role in the past few games, a cancellation on Sunday, and freezing temps last night, which killed a couple HR's off the bat of Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto.
The Cubs remain in first by percentage points after New York's Oliver Perez decided to self-destruct in the fifth inning against the Cardinals.
Milton Bradley will most likely return to the lineup tonight. He has as many hits as ejections. I'm sure we would love to see him get hot and put this first two weeks behind us.
Micah Hoffpauir - Say what you want about the 29-year-old rookie, but he came up big last night. After Jay Bruce put the Reds on top, Micah took Micah deep for his first home run of the season. He's only hitting .375 with five RBI (two of which came last night) in 16 at bats. I know there is no way for him to keep it, but if he can hit .290, while getting four to eight at bats a week, I would take it.
Aramis Ramirez - He had one of the best at bats during the fifth inning. He fouled off pitch after pitch, before punching a ball to right to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. He looks poised for a great year.
Ted Lilly - Roosevelt is 2-0 already this season, after nearly no-hitting the Rockies last week. After last year's lousy start, it has been nice to see him win early.
Mike Fontenot - "Little Babe Ruth" has been nothing like "The Babe" as he went 0-for-3 last night to drop his average down to .205. He drew a walk, but it would be nice to see him hit a little bit like the other Cajun.
Neal Cotts - Poor Cotts. He gets a gift to strike out a guy in the 8th, before remembering he was Neal Cotts. He proceeded to give up a hit, then walk a guy before Lou had seen enough and brought Carlos Marmol into the game. Cotts' ERA dropped, but he went further in the doghouse.
Clogging the bases vs. Slugging: The battle continues wage on as the Cubs clogged the bases seven times last night (nine if you include the two hit batters). The Cubs clogged their way to seven runs, while the Reds slugged their way to two. I wonder how this game will turn out? The Cubs are facing Johnny Cueto tonight, who has walked seven in 10 2/3 innings, but he has struck out 12. The Cubs should be able to do enough damage to take Game 2 to set up the sweep tomorrow against Aaron Harang.
A game without surprises is surprisingly a rare event. And yet the Cubs had one of those last night as they predictably throttled the Reds. Rich Harden - not surprisingly - pitched 6 innings of 3-hit ball, walking 2, striking out 8, and allowing 2 earned runs on 92 pitches. When the Cubs turned to their bullpen, they weren't surprised to see solid efforts from Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol, and even Luis Vizcaino (who has yet to allow an earned run to score on his watch) while Neal Cotts predictably crapped his pants giving up a hit and walk in under an inning pitched. (Again, I think Lou should have hung him out to get beaten on or to escape. The Cubs had a 5 run lead when Cotts entered the game, they could have afforded him to squander or overcome.) Offensively the Cubs predictably got a hit and walk from leadoff man Alfonso Soriano, 2 walks from Kosuke Fukudome, and 7 walks from the team in total. In the 6th when the Reds walked Derrek Lee to clog - erm, load the bases - I can only imagine how bewildered Dusty must have felt when the Cubs exploited the opportunity with an Aramis Ramirez 2-run single. Dusty probably threw his hat to the dugout floor and stomped on it saying "THAT'S NOT HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN, DUDES! THE BASES WERE CLOGGED!" Dusty is a bastard. All told, Aramis went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI. Micah Hoffpauir hit an early homerun and was then pinch-hit for by Reed Johnson late in the game in a run-scoring opportunity. (I know, you were all very upset about that, but maybe Micah just isn't a clutch hitter, eh?) Mike Fontenot and Derrek Lee unsurprisingly had 0-fer nights. Ryan Theriot predictably collected 2 more hits. It was really a good night for the Cubs with no surprises and lots of win. Tonight it's another late start and the Cubs play to win the series. The question is whether or not Ted Lilly can figure out how the Reds figured him out last year. I'm thinking he'll crush them, figuratively speaking.
A game without surprises is surprisingly a rare event. And yet the Cubs had one of those last night as they predictably throttled the Reds.
Rich Harden - not surprisingly - pitched 6 innings of 3-hit ball, walking 2, striking out 8, and allowing 2 earned runs on 92 pitches. When the Cubs turned to their bullpen, they weren't surprised to see solid efforts from Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol, and even Luis Vizcaino (who has yet to allow an earned run to score on his watch) while Neal Cotts predictably crapped his pants giving up a hit and walk in under an inning pitched. (Again, I think Lou should have hung him out to get beaten on or to escape. The Cubs had a 5 run lead when Cotts entered the game, they could have afforded him to squander or overcome.)
Offensively the Cubs predictably got a hit and walk from leadoff man Alfonso Soriano, 2 walks from Kosuke Fukudome, and 7 walks from the team in total. In the 6th when the Reds walked Derrek Lee to clog - erm, load the bases - I can only imagine how bewildered Dusty must have felt when the Cubs exploited the opportunity with an Aramis Ramirez 2-run single. Dusty probably threw his hat to the dugout floor and stomped on it saying "THAT'S NOT HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN, DUDES! THE BASES WERE CLOGGED!"
Dusty is a bastard.
All told, Aramis went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI. Micah Hoffpauir hit an early homerun and was then pinch-hit for by Reed Johnson late in the game in a run-scoring opportunity. (I know, you were all very upset about that, but maybe Micah just isn't a clutch hitter, eh?) Mike Fontenot and Derrek Lee unsurprisingly had 0-fer nights. Ryan Theriot predictably collected 2 more hits. It was really a good night for the Cubs with no surprises and lots of win.
Tonight it's another late start and the Cubs play to win the series. The question is whether or not Ted Lilly can figure out how the Reds figured him out last year. I'm thinking he'll crush them, figuratively speaking.
Micah Owings (0-1, 7.20 ERA) vs. Rich Harden (0-1, 5.00 ERA)
Dusty Baker and the Cincinnati Reds come to Chicago. Cub fans have to wonder what Dusty will bring with him on this trip. Will he make excuses about the number of day games? Perhaps he'll put a little bit of the blame on the fans for not supporting the team if the Reds play poorly? I suppose he could always imply that we're racist and overly-critical of him.
Nevertheless, the Cubs will be looking to extend their stranglehold on the NL Central with a throttling of the Reds who themselves are only half a game out of first.
Aramis Ramirez - A-Ram batted .462 in his last series against the Cardinals with 1 homer and 5 RBI. He's swinging a heavy stick right now and is on pace to hit 53 homers and drive in 193 RBI. (Reminder: it's only been eleven games.)
Kosuke Fukudome - We're going to learn a lot about Fukudome this season. For example, if his totals drop down to around .265 or .270 again, then he's a flash-in-the-pan hot starter. If he can stay fairly level all season long, then he's a genius hitter who adjusted to the league. At this point, 'dome is on pace to hit 44 homeruns.
Ryan Theriot - Hmm. Ryan Theriot is batting .400 right now. He's speedy. He's actually hitting a fair number of doubles. He bats righty, Fukudome bats lefty, and Ramirez bats righty. Sounds like the ideal 1-2-3 R-L-R combo the Cubs need at the top of the order. And yet he'll be batting 8th tonight - if we're lucky.
Geovany Soto - Jack Sparrow's stunt double needs to find the white pearl pretty fast. (In case the metaphor is just too stupid to be sensible, the white pearl in this case would be a pitched baseball.) When Geo isn't pirating the Caribbean, he's experiencing 0-fers. But it's not as bad as it looks. He's had 5 games in which he's had 4-or-more plate appearances, and he's failed to hit in 3 of them. Okay, 60% is pretty bad, but it's still a very small sample size.
Aaron Miles + Mike Fontenot - Our two-headed, switch-hitting, ring-bearing, Mount-Doom-Heading second base duo isn't exactly winning over old enemies right now. Between the two of them Miles and Fontenot are 10 for 51 (.196) with 3 extra base hits. That cute girl wearing a DeRosa game who's sitting next to you at the game tonight will be secretly crying when you aren't looking.
Derrek Lee - On a bigger scale, Lee's doing much better now, thank you. But he batted a meager .214 in 3 games against the Cardinals. It'd be nice to watch D.Lee (still DP free, by the way) have a big series against Dusty's boys.
As Rob noted, Rich Harden is throwing tonight and apparently that guy could crap a 10 strikeout performance if he had to. There's one thing the Cubs are missing, but luckily it's something every team is "missing" early on in the year - consistency. The offense will set the world on fire, but the pitching will crap the bed. The pitching will come close to shutting down the opposition, and the team will still lose 1-0. The rotation will be aces, the bullpen will be eights. You get what I'm saying. But nobody "puts it all together" in the first two weeks of April.
Still, the Cubs are in a position to pummel the Reds, and I'm pretty sure they're entirely capable of doing it.
Series Preview: Reds at Chicago Cubs
To find out what Reds fans feel about this series, mosey on over to Red Hot Mama's blog. We haven't heard from RHM in a while, but she was always a spunky Reds fan until Dusty Baker broke her spirit.
Do you remember where you were when you found out that Dusty Baker was going to become the manager of the Reds? Do you remember how good it felt? Tony LaRussa aside, the NL Central has had more than its share of idiot managers. Unfortunately those days are ending, though as the Brewers freed themselves of Ned Yost last year.
But unfortunately for the Reds Dusty's probably going to keep his job for the duration of the year. He's like Teflon - once you commit to him, he sticks until the last bitter day of his contract. Consequently the Reds are a young, talented team with the wrong players in the lineup. They're a team with some incredible pitchers who get over-used and obliterated. And I don't feel good about it. I remember all-too-well the sickening feeling that Dusty left in my gut. I wouldn't wish that on any team, but I'm thankful that the Reds are a non-factor based on the way they are managed. One less worry.
That said, Cincy owned Ted Lilly last year. I can't explain it. But Roosevelt was 0-4 against the Reds with an 8.15 ERA. Perhaps not coincidentally, 8 of Joey Votto's 24 homeruns came against the Cubs last year. It was brutal. Anyway, the match-ups:
April 21st Micah Owings vs. Rich Harden
Micah Owings. 26 years old and in his first year with the Reds. Young Micah has only pitched one game so far this year, and Dusty limited him to 89 pitches. But now that he's had the chance to stretch his arm, the gloves are off. I'm predicting 110+ pitches unless Owings gets into early trouble.
Rich Harden has some interesting numbers so far. He's thrown 9 innings and struck out 18. Between all those strikeouts though are 8 hits, 6 walks, and 5 earned runs. He was unhittable in his first outing, he was chased after 3 innings in his second, he has to be looking for consistency in his third.
April 22nd Johnny Cueto vs. Ted Lilly
Johnny Cueto. 23 years old. As a rookie he started 31 games, threw 174 innings, and still managed to toss 110-or-more pitches 8 times - and he threw 109 pitches twice more. Already in 2 starts this year Cueto has had an outing in which he threw 109 pitches - his first of the year on April 11th. I pity Reds fans because Cueto's first big injury is only a matter of time and I'm betting he misses a big chunk of either 2010 or 2011.
Psycho has something to prove. In 17.2 innings last year against the Reds, he allowed 18 hits, 10 walks, and 16 earned runs. Subtract his season against the Reds and Ted Lilly was 17-5 with an ERA of 3.71. You don't need a Colin Wyers to tell you that such a dramatic difference between Lilly v. The League and Lilly v. The Reds is bizarre if not flat-out fishy.
April 23rd Aaron Harang vs. Carlos Zambrano
In 2007, Harang was a 16-game winner with 218 strikeouts. In 2008, he might have done the same. Then, Dusty very famously used him between starts to pitch 4 innings of relief against San Diego. His season turned to mush after that and he finished '08 with 17 losses and an ERA of 4.78. So far in '09, Harang is averaging 105 pitches a game, he's tossed a complete game against Pittsburgh, and his ERA is 2.70. Is he back? Is he healthy? Is it just a matter of time before Dusty sends him to the DL again?
Carlos has something in common with pretty much every Cubs starter in '09 -- he's yet to find consistency. He's had great games and terrible games and that's an impressive feat since he's only thrown three games all year. In 2008 Zambrano was 4-0 against the Reds with an ERA of 1.20. I'm sure he'll work to continue that level of success.
Only a game separates the Cubs and the Reds in the standings, but probably nobody - not even Red fans - expect Cincy to keep up all year long. It's not the fault of the way the team's been built - on paper, I'd expect the Reds to win more than they lose. The problem is that the genius running the team is a certifiable baseball idiot.
He's got a decent team if only he didn't insist on batting lead off a guy who's never walked more than 36 times in a season. He's got a rotation that mixes fantastic youngsters with talented veterans, except you'd win a lot of money if you could accurately guess which one was heading to the DL first.
And most shocking of all, Dusty's got a job in baseball. I'll never understand that one. For that reason alone, I expect the Cubs to sweep each and every time they play the Reds.
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Today the Dusties signed Daryle Ward's fat ass and Jacque Jones' inferiority complex, albeit to minor league deals.
I actually spent quality time today considering whether or not the Cardinals or the Reds would finish 2nd in the Central this year. There is a bit of buzz that the Reds are on the right track. I guess they call THIS a "buzzkill", then.
14 runs later, and the Cubs have their first September victory, not that there weren't a few speed bumps along the way. Jason Marquis - who, for one night, has earned the nickname "The Stopper," stepped up and pitched 2 run baseball into the 8th inning, striking out only 2 to his 5 walks, and he hit a homerun to boot. Speaking of homeruns, Marquis wasn't alone in his quest to injure a Reds fan in the bleachers - Mark DeRosa hit his 20th of the season, and Alfonso Soriano hit his 25th, 26th, and 27th. Fonz, we love you.
In fact, the Cubs managed 18 hits and 4 walks tonight while scoring 14 runs in total.
And they still managed to scare the crap out of Cub fans!
The final 2 innings of the night were not exactly easy. The Reds scored 8 of their 9 runs with 5 outs remaining in the game, including a 9th inning Granny by Jolbert Cabrera off of Carlos Marmol, who will only be tagged for 1 of the 4 runs. Having made it more interesting for himself, Marmol then buckled down and had a fairly easy time getting the last 3 outs of the game, Corey Patterson excluded. And, like that, the Cubs have ended their slide, they maintain a 4 game lead on the second place Brewers, I can now stand to look at their schedule again, and they have a chance of winning the 3 game set against the Reds tomorrow night.
I know a lot of people are sick with this team. It very quickly became a roller coaster in the last week after the Cubs had given us a month of smooth sailing, and if I haven't mixed my metaphors enough, they finally managed to hit the breaks tonight after having fallen off a cliff. But, c'mon, be honest Cub fans, you're still worried that there's more space to fall.
If I were to take a survey of our loyal Goat Readers, how many people out there right now believe the Cubs will somehow find a way to miss the playoffs?
How many people think they'll slink in as wild carders?
How many people believe they'll be swept out of the first round?
How many people are aware that, with 20 games remaining, the Cubs have the best record in the NL? I mean, that's how good they've been this year. They lost six games in a row and they are percentage points away from having the best record in all of baseball.
For the last month or so, many of us - this blog included - have directed our gaze toward a nice, round number that no Cubs team has seen in more than 70 years. Achieving that win would be a tremendous accomplishment, a point of pride that few Cub fans can recall experiencing as most who were alive the last time it happened now battle dementia, senility, and/or incontinence.
And, yet, 100 wins means exactly this in reality: Dog Piss Jones. 100 wins means nothing. It should not be the goal. With 20 games remaining, the Cubs are capable of achieving it, but should it even be a minor concern? Maybe this ridiculous losing streak was a blessing in disguise. Maybe it will have served as a reminder to the team that they are not invincible, they still have to actually play to win, and rather than strive to achieve cool-yet-irrelevant goals like a 100 win season, maybe they can now focus on the two most important things: entering the playoffs with home field advantage and beating the ever-loving shit out of every team they come across once they're there.
I know some of you have abandoned ship. Rather than risk another painful crash landing, you have pulled the ripcord and you are floating off to the safety of disconnection. Have fun over there. Enjoy the football season. Hockey and basketball start soon. There's a new episode of House on TV next week and you can already get the first episode of Dexter online.
Me, I bleed Cubs baseball, and I will be there until the end, be it in the first week of October or the last. And believe me, the enjoyment or the sorrow that I will experience when the last out is made this season will be enough for me and ten others. I've got you covered. I'm collecting all the forks you've stuck in this team throughout the season, and I promise that you'll get them all back when it's over.
But it's not over. Anybody who believes otherwise is ridiculous and afraid.
Right now, I don't even want to look at the Cubs. I just don't want to think about them, not until they start winning again.
So, instead of talking about last night's game and how incredibly depressing it was, I'm going to look at two lines in particular. That of Ted Lilly and Jon Lieber.
Jon Lieber: 39.2 IP, 8 ER, 1.82 ERA
Ted Lilly: 159 IP, 4.02 ERA.
That would be the seasonal lines of Lilly and Lieber if they'd never faced the Reds this year. Lieber has surrendered 16 hits to the Reds in his work, 8 of which could not be contained by the ballpark. He's only given up 2 homeruns to non-Cincinnati teams. I almost smell a conspiracy here.
While last night's loss was certainly another blow to the confidence of Cub fans everywhere, considering the way the Reds destroy Lieber and Lilly, it seems as though it was a perfect storm of pain. Now, here's the thing - the Cubs bench coach Alan Trammall has an important job. Part of that job is knowing the splits and numbers of his players against their opponents. Alan needs to pull aside Lou and say "so, uh, about Jon Lieber and the Reds ..." because, like Lou's addiction to Howry, he seems to derrive pleasure in watching Liebs get hammered.
Anyway, I have a very, very strong feeling that we're going to see one of two things tonight. We will see a) an easy, reassurring Cubs victory or b) Lou Piniella go temporarly insane on the baseball field. Something will give.
It's been written that, on days when he's not pitching, Carlos Zambrano shags fly balls in the outfield and throw them back in left handed. It turns out that the Big Moose is ambidextrous and, in the right circumstance, he'd love the opportunity to play the outfield on days he's not pitching. He'd just catch the ball with his right hand and throw it back in lefty.
He just might have the necessary stick for the job. In 482 career at bats, Zambrano is batting .241. That's not great unless you're a pitcher, but it could perhaps be successfully argued that players who don't bat regularly struggle more than players who bat daily. What's more impressive is his 16 career homeruns. Zambrano may just be capable of improving on that .241 career average, had he the chance to bat 500 times in a season. However, if it's true that limited plate time negatively effects a player's batting statistics, it would be hard for the Big Moose to do much better than he's done this year. Essentially, there have been 24 games this year in which the pitcher has been the most productive hitter on the team - the games Zambrano has started. Rather than give you the cold numbers, I'll give you the projections:
In 550 at bats, Carlos would have 196 hits, 31 doubles, 8 triples, 24 homeruns, 94 RBI, and he'd be batting .357 with a .928 OPS. Maybe the ol' Zambino photoshop was even more appropriate than it first appeared:
Perhaps the one factor detracting from Carlos's quest to be a hitter is his lack of patience. In all those career at bats, Z has a whopping 5 walks. That's Dunston/Patterson territory. However, it's conceivable that he's currently taking the "make 'em count" approach and is more aggressive than he'd be if he was hitting every day.
He certainly made 'em count today. Carlos was 1 for 2 with a homerun against the Reds, while also pitching 7 innings and giving up only 1 earned run off of 6 hits and 4 walks. His homer was the last run the Cubs scored, and it was also the difference in a 3-2 ballgame.
It remains concerning that Carlos has bouts with wildness, although my personal belief is that he was merely trying to get the Reds hitters in trouble with Dusty Baker. Rumor has it that the Reds have a "bench 'em if they walk twice in a game" policy, and for tomorrow's game, Chris Dickerson would've at the very least been flipped in the lineup with Corey Patterson, had C-Pat not drawn a walk in the 7th.
Offensively, the Cubs managed 6 hits and 2 walks of their own off of Josh Fogg and company. Fogg only went 4 innings and threw 60 pitches. I'm convinced that either Dusty got confused and thought it was the 8th when he pulled him, or he's planning on starting him again on Sunday. Apart from Zambrano's homer, the other two Cubs runs came from a DeRosa solo shot and - go figure - a Derrek Lee double play that also scored Alfonso Soriano.
One other thing worth mentioning is that Kerry Wood struck out 2 to get the save, and Carlos Marmol gave up his first earned run in over a month and his first hit since the end of July.
Series Recap: Taking 2 of 3 from the lowly Reds somehow feels like a disappointment. The Cubs should sweep these chumps, right? However, they are now 78-49, they've gone 13-5 this month, and tomorrow they host a team that's even worse than Cincinnati before traveling to the armpit of Pennsylvania to pummel on another crappy squad.
In other words, I'm not complaining, not by a long shot.
Current Record: 78-49
Position in the NL Central: 1st place, 5.5 games in front of Milwaukee and 8 ahead of St. Louis
Best Possible Record: 113-49
Worst Possible Record: 78-84
On Pace For: 99-63
Magic Number: 30, as powered by CubsMagicNumber.com