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Day of Rest
by alex ciepley
An off-day today, a well-deserved rest for a Cubs team that played fantastic baseball last week, and have shown that June Swoons are a thing of years past. Over the last seven days, the Cubs have been led by the (slightly unlikely) trifecta of:
Derrek Lee has been a man on fire this month, which is fully consistent with his normal month-to-month splits (ice-cold April and May, toasty June). Lee's June has been, in a word, ridulous (414/468/714 for the month). While his home run numbers have been a disappointment so far, Lee's currently on pace for 59 doubles. I doubt he's going to get close to that total; not because Lee will stop hitting for power, but because I think Lee's doubles are going to start heading over the fence.
In order to avoid slighting the pitchers, though, a few words on them. Zambrano has continued to pitch like an ace (and despite a rocky start yesterday, he was still very effective) and notched 2 wins over his 2 starts, with a 2.13 ERA. A fearsome foursome of middle relief were really the saviors, though, with Beltran, Farnsworth, Remlinger, and Mercker combining for 10 scoreless innings. Beltran seems to have slowly acquired the faith of Dusty, and Francis has rewarded his manager with a nifty season so far. If he can cut down on the walks (15 in 26.6 innings, yikes), he's going to continue to be a major force in the 'pen.