Open Thread: Cubs vs. Phillies, Sunday 5/13, 12:35 CT

The Cubs won't have to face Ryan Howard today; he's been placed on the 15-day DL. Not that his absence the first two games of this series has prevented the Phillies from pounding Cubs pitchers anyway.

Kiss of death time: Alfonso Soriano's 20-game hitting streak is the longest for a Cub since Jerome Walton's 30-game streak in 1989, a career-high streak for him, and the longest current active streak in baseball. Soriano has also reached base in all 28 games in which he's appeared.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are moms. Mother's Day stat: since 1989, the Cubs are 3-15 on Mother's Day (winning only in 1996, 2004 and 2005). Time to change that streak, particularly since today is pretty much a must-win (yes, I know, I know, but you do NOT want to get swept in a series like this one).

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Jon Lieber
J. Lieber
Phillies
2-2 W-L 1-1
2.78 ERA 3.33
42 SO 13
7 BB 11
2 HR 2
vs. Phi -- vs. Cubs
These are uncharted waters for Lilly -- not only has he never faced the Phillies, but he's never faced anyone who's on their 25-man roster. He has walked only seven men in 45.1 innings; that's fewer than anyone in baseball who has thrown that many innings or more; his 0.97 WHIP is tied for fourth in the NL, and two of the pitchers above him are his teammates, Jason Marquis (who leads all of baseball in this category at 0.90) and Rich Hill. Those three pitchers, combined, are 11-5, 2.32; the rest of the staff is 5-13, 4.74.

There are several Cubs who have hit Lieber well during their careers: Derrek Lee (.409/.417/.500), Cliff Floyd (.352/.426/.481), Aramis Ramirez (.379/.379/.552), even Daryle Ward (.294/.368/.529). All told, Lieber has made 11 career starts against the Cubs, going 5-5, 4.46, but this goes back to his days with the Pirates, before he spent four years with the Cubs from 1999-2002. Lieber's been around a long time -- so long that among his teammates his rookie year were Lance Parrish... and Lloyd McClendon.

Today's game is on WGN ("We're Bad, We're Nationwide"), and as always at the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

Finally, the last time before yesterday that the Cubs both scored and allowed at least six runs in the same inning was 28 years ago, in this famous game. Don't know if it's been done by any other teams since then.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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