Longtime readers of this blog will remember my daughter Rachel's friend Jenna, of whom I have written twice in the last year as she prepared for her Bat Mitzvah, which took place yesterday. She is, as I noted before, as big a Cubs fan as any of us here, and managed, in her speech, to mention Sandy Koufax, Ken Holtzman, Shawn Green (who she actually went up to when the Mets were in town and invited to the Bat Mitzvah. He laughed and politely declined, as the Mets had some important business in New York this weekend), and Jason Marquis. The rabbi, in the spirit of things, said he didn't know whether to say "Shabbat Shalom" ("Sabbath greetings", loosely, in Hebrew) or "Play ball!" Later, after the service was completed, he continued this humorous vein by saying, "I didn't know whether to say 'Mazel tov' (Hebrew, loosely, for 'Congratulations') or 'Holy Cow'!"
It was an enjoyable event; too bad her favorite team (and ours) didn't cooperate in making it a perfect day. Instead, the Cubs lost to the Diamondbacks 3-1, and what more can you say? Sometimes you just get beat. It turned on one bad pitch -- an inside fastball that Conor Jackson turned on and crushed for a two-run HR -- and the Cubs could do little with Doug Davis. Lou called him "a crafty lefthander", but Davis said:
Other than the HR, I thought Ted Lilly threw a really nice game. The Cubs have allowed the second-fewest runs in the NL (only the Padres have allowed fewer; and among AL teams, only the Red Sox have allowed fewer than the Cubs' total of 538), have a run differential of +51 and a Pythagorean projected record of 69-59. Sooner or later, the actual record ought to catch up to that. Win today and this road trip will be a success.
I was pleased to see Jason Kendall hitting second and Jacque Jones hitting eighth last night. This lineup will score some runs if Lou will just leave it alone for a few days.
Thankfully, the Brewers also lost last night again, 6-2 to the Giants, so the Cubs maintain their 1.5 game lead. The Cardinals moved to within 3 games by defeating the Braves 5-4. From the AP recap, another quote from Doug Davis:
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
This afternoon's contest is cable-only on CSN Chicago; if you are in Arizona (and I know quite a few of you are) it should be available statewide via 3TV Phoenix and its repeater network. Here is today's MLB Mediacenter link.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)
MLB.com Gameday for today's Braves/Cardinals game (1:15 pm CT start time)
MLB.com Gameday for today's Brewers/Giants game (3:05 pm CT start time)
Discuss amongst yourselves.