80-50 4.5 GMs up on Milwaukee, 8 GMs up on St. Louis, .5 GMs up in all of baseball
Magic Number: 28
The Week that Was:
It tough to say two series wins are a disapointment, but they almost are. They've won 8 straight series, which they haven't done since 1927. Rich Harden got not one but got two wins. The were bested again by John Lannen and the squandered a Ted Lilly gem. Mark DeRosa hit a HR in 4 straight games (HR1, HR2, HR3, HR4), first Cub to do that since Fred McGriff. And Geovany Soto tied Randy Hundley for the most HR for a Cub catcher.
The Week that Will be:
- Game 1 Ted Lilly vs. Jeff Karstens. The Cubs look for revenge against Karstens, who blanked them a month ago. He's lost his last two starts, both at home. Lilly won his last start against the Pirates, going 6.1 IP of 1 R ball. Ryan Doumit (5-10) and Luis Rivas (2 HR) hit him well.
- Game 2: Carlos Zambrano vs. Ian Snell. Zambrano got a ND in his shortened start against the Pirates earlier in the month. Only Ryan Doumit (4-12) hits him well. Ian Snell has been a disapointment this season, but he has a respectable 3.92 home ERA. The Cubs have won both his starts this season. Ramirez (8-25), Edmonds (5-18 2 HR), Ryan Theriot (7-16), Soriano (7-15 3 HR) and Mark DeRosa (4-8) all hit him really well.
- Game 3: Jason Marquis vs. Zach Duke. Marquis takes his 3.49 road ERA to face the Pirates, who he lost to earlier in the year. Jason Micheals (4-6 HR) hits him well. Duke has lost his last 8 decisions and has a BAA of .309. Derrek Lee (10-32 HR), Ramirez (11-32 HR), Ronny Cedeno (8-23) and Alfonso Soriano (12-21 2 HR) all hit him well.
Then the Cubs return home for a 4 games set with the Phillies. The Cubs look for revenge after Philly took 2 out of 3 in a series that occured many months ago.
- Game 4: Ryan Dempster vs. Cole Hamels. Easily the best pitching matchup in the series. Dempster, 11-2 at home, hasn't given up a HR since July 1st and the Phillies lead the NL in dingers. Jimmy Rollines (9-28) and Pat Burrell (8-21) hit him well. Hamels didn't allow a run in his 7 IP against the Cubs in April. Alfonso Soriano (3 HR), Ramirez (4-11 HR) and Ryan Theriot (5-11 HR) hit him well.
- Game 5: Rich Harden vs. Joe Blanton. They were teammates earlier in the year, but now they face off. Harden has been masterful as a Cub, and hasn't given up a run in 19 IP. The Phillies roster is batting .059 off him with 15 Ks in 32 ABs. Blanton has been decent with the Phillies, but his last couple starts haven't been anything to write home about. Reed Johnson (5-10 HR) and Soriano (4-9) hit him well.
- Game 6: Ted Lilly vs. Brett Myers. Lilly got hit hard by the Phillies in his start against them, but that was when Ted Lilly was sucking hardcore. Pedro Feliz (4-10 2 HR) hits him well. Myers has been short of decent this year, but his last start was a CG shutout vs. the Nationals. He has a 6.35 ERA on the road this year. Lee (12-25 3 HR), Ramirez (7-24 2 HR), Soriano (5-20 3 HR) and Edmonds (6-16 HR) hit him well.
- Game 7: Carlos Zambrano vs. Jamie Moyer. The former Cub has been the 2nd best starter on the Phillies this season, but was the starter for the only Cubs win in Philly this year. Reed Johnson (10-30 HR) and Mark DeRosa (4-13 HR) hit him well. Z's first loss of the season was to the Phillies, but he has a 7-1 home record. No Phillie hits him well.
Predictions: It's hard to predict that the Cubs lose any of these games, but I'm going to predict that we lose both of Lilly's starts. Alfonso Soriano hits 3 HRs