The Phillies are ... well, they're almost anonymous to me. I know, they have a great HR hitter in Ryan Howard, some good young pitchers, and a solid All-Star 2B in Chase Utley.
But with the unbalanced schedule, it's been a VERY long time since the Cubs last played them -- since August 4, 2005, in fact -- 177 games ago. The Cubs have gone 78-99 in those games.
And the Phillies have been busy swapping players, and recently, scoring runs. In their last 23 games, they have scored 165 runs -- 7.17 per game. Yes, that's a lot -- if a team did that for a full season, they'd score 1162 runs, something no team has ever done. Seven times in thos 23 games, they scored ten or more runs. Now, here's the kicker -- they went 15-8 in those 23 games. That's good, but in their last 23 games, the Cubs have had a respectable average of 4.65 per game (108 total runs, 57 fewer than the Phillies) -- and gone 14-9.
What does this tell us? Well, likely that the Phillies pitchers (who have allowed 110 runs in those 23 games, including two shutouts) are ripe for hitting. And that the Philly hitters have to cool off sometime. Tonight would be a good time to start.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
This could bode well: Rich Hill is 2-1 with a 4.18 ERA in four starts at Wrigley Field so far this season, compared to a 1-4 mark and 10.02 ERA in five games on the road.
A few notes: in this Paul Sullivan article from today's Tribune, he lists contract commitments for next year:
Finally, it's official -- names will return to the backs of Cub home uniforms in 2007. I know many of you are up in arms about this -- I can take it or leave it, but I wanted to note marketing VP John McDonough's explanation as to why this is being done:
Notes: Freddie Bynum has been activated to replace Neifi on the roster. Ugh.
And, with his 30th HR yesterday, Aramis Ramirez became the first Cub to have 30 HR in his first three full seasons (2004, 2005, 2006) with the club since Hank Sauer (1950, 1951, 1952).
Discuss amongst yourselves.