Open Thread: Cubs vs. Brewers, Thursday 8/30, 7:05 CT

Mike emailed me earlier today with his pregame thoughts:

After yesterday, I fully expect the Cubs to look like world beaters tonight. Remember, we're dealing, basically, with mediocrity here, and I mean all three contenders. We're not used to seeing this from division leaders, but it's the hand that is dealt, this year.
That, I think, sums up this series pretty well. The Cubs clinched the season series vs. the Brewers on Tuesday night. A win here would win this series, and solidify the currently tenuous hold on first place.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Manny Parra
M. Parra
Brewers
13-7 W-L 0-1
3.85 ERA 3.09
140 SO 23
46 BB 9
23 HR 1
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs
Manny Parra threw a perfect game for Nashville on June 25 with 11 strikeouts. In his fourth major league appearance on August 1 he threw six innings in relief against the Mets. He's young. He's lefthanded. He's invincible. We are doomed.

Meanwhile, Ted Lilly has allowed eight earned runs in 12 innings in two starts vs. the Brewers this year, one of which was a 9-3 Cubs win on April 25. Prince Fielder is 3-for-5 vs. Lilly; Ryan Braun 2-for-3 with a HR; Corey Hart 2-for 6 (double, HR). Only four NL pitchers who have thrown as many or more innings than Lilly have walked fewer batters than Lilly's 46, and not by much (Aaron Harang, 44 in 190.2 IP; Woody Williams, 45 in 169.2 IP; Tim Hudson, 45 in 183.2 IP, and Derek Lowe, 45 in 172 IP). It will be a cool night tonight, perhaps a good pitchers' night.

The Cardinals just lost to the Astros in an afternoon game, 2-1, so the Cubs have a chance to extend their lead over St. Louis to three games again. Get it done!

Today's game is on WGN; if you are in the Wisconsin areas served by FSN Wisconsin, it'll be there too. It's also available at the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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