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Game 98: Cubs 4 – Cardinals 3

Jul
25

Cubs 52-46, 3/1.5
Cardinals 45-51, 9/7.5

POTG: 3B A RAM (4 H, RBI)
Runner Up: 1B D Lee (2 H, R, RBI), SS Ryan Theriot (H, 2 R, BB, SB, CS), CF Jacque Jones (2 BB, H, RBI), SP Z! (6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, W [13/77])

The return of D Lee! The return of No Extra Base Hits! Ah, the comfortable lack of changes.

Larry Poncino, home plate, had an awful night. I’ve seen stamps bigger than the strike zone, it was quite unreal. The upside is Z! was tested to go insane and blow up, and did not blow up. It wasn’t a super performance, and you could tell he thought he should be doing better, but it was still pretty good.

This was a tough game to take seriously from the start because it was Z vs Kip Wells, but Wells did fair enough. It helps that the Cubs are just getting dink hits (and such, can’t get the big hit to key the big inning) but Wells did better than his numbers.

This was such a slow game. It got exciting at the end, and Soriano really ought to make sure he fields the grounder before he starts thinking about throwing it (he starting to give back those runs he took away earlier), but it did feel like forever for a while.

The playoff race:

NYM 54-43 +2.0
MIL 56-44 +1.5
LAD 56-45 +1.0
SDP 54-45 —-
ATL 54-47 -1.0
CHC 52-46 -1.5
ARZ 54-48 -1.5
PHI 51-48 -3.0
COL 50-50 -4.5

Nine teams, all within 5 games of making it or not making it. The other seven are pretty much done, but it’s going to be jumble going in the last 10 weeks of the season.

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Game 97: Diamondbacks 3 – Cubs 0

Jul
25

Diamondbacks 52-48/4.5
Cubs 51-46/2.5

POTG: SP Sean Marshall (6 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K)
Runner Up: none

So, it’s 3-2 without D Lee. Sounds about right. It stings more when the 2Ls come at the end.

This was a classic case of a team not showing up before an off day. 4 hits! 0 walks! 5 Bases! An amazingly week performance.

Marshall pitched good enough to win this game. Actually, he pitched good enough to get to 98 pitches, first time in a month. It’s still obvious they’re concerned about over pitching him, either for injury or performance concern. He seemed to be cruising along fine, and one more inning couldn’t have been worse than Mamrol (not that it mattered), but they obviously feel more comfortable this way.

Petrick and Eyre looked fine, that’s a nice change. Kendall finally got a hit. Maybe he’ll get over 100 someday.

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Game 96: Diamondbacks 3 – Cubs 2

Jul
25

Diamondbacks 51-48/4.5
Cubs 51-45/2.5

POTG: RP Michael Wuertz (IP, H, 3 K)
Runner Up: SP Rich Hill (6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 K), SS Ryan Theriot (H, BB, SS), RF Angel Pagan (2 RBI, 3B), 1B Mark Derosa (2 BB, R)

I’m allergic to writing these all of the sudden. I don’t know what’s going on, honestly. Well, about me – I still like to pretend I know what’s going on with the team, or these hours I’m watching this team are kinda wasted.

There was going to be a time where the team ran out of gas – obviously, there’s a time where *I* ran out – and this was Part 1. After many games with the bullpen getting out of jams and protecting the lead just enough, Bobby Howry had a bad outing. It was bound to happen, at least Dempster was back.

It really could’ve been a lot worse, because Rich Hill had the most unconvincing 1 ER performance ever. 4 walks was the tip of it, he looked bad all game thru, and just kept escaping. You’ll take the performance but you wonder if he’s slipped back into some issues.

Cubs really needed Ram or Soriano to carry the team with this lineup. They were quiet, the offense followed. No one had a really great day, the Arizona relievers were way ahead of the Cubs hitters, and 2 runs is just about right in total. Narrowing it down, leaving Pagan on third in the 4th when he got there with no outs was killer, but you can’t expect anything from Koyie or Rich.

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