Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Laughingstock No More
2007-07-27 09:00
by Phil Bencomo

Despite last night's rather ugly loss - hey, they happen to the best - the Cubs are sitting pretty, two games behind Milwaukee in the Central and one behind Arizona for the Wild Card. Yes, unbelievable as it is, the Wild Card may come out of the Central, a division so putrid a season ago that the words "NL Central" and "Wild Card" weren't even spoken together in a paragraph, let alone a sentence.

But what a difference a year and $300 million make.

* * * *

Lost amid yesterday's beatdown was a momentous milestone: Jason Kendall's first extra-base hit as a Cub. His double in the fifth was also his first extra-base hit in two weeks. After six games and 19 at-bats, the Cubs' newest weak-hitting catcher has three hits.

* * * *

Derrek Lee continued his methodical march to a double-digit home run total with a solo shot in the sixth that gave the Cubs their only run of the night. He's now got nine for the season.

* * * *

Cub pitchers had done a nice job of containing Albert Pujols - until yesterday, that is. He was 0-9 in the first two games of the series before breaking out for a home run and five RBI in the finale. Surprisingly, Pujols was 0-9 despite no strikeouts. He wasn't getting overpowered, but was contained (again, until yesterday) none the less.

* * * *

The Cubs head to Cincinnati to face a Reds team that just took two of three from Milwaukee. They're still 15 games under .500, but the Reds have held their own against the rest of the Central, with a record of 20-23 in intra-divisional play. Bronson Arroyo pitches tonight for the Reds; his 3.07 career ERA against the Cubs is tempered somewhat by a ERA of nearly six at home this season.

But the pitcher to watch out for is Aaron Harang, 10-2 on the season with an ERA of 3.45. His last outing, on July 23 against Milwaukee, was incredible: 10 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K.

2007-07-27 14:55:31
1.   rynox
"But what a difference a year and $300 million make."



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