Going For Three In A Row: Cubs vs. Phillies Preview, Saturday 7/17, 12:05 CT

Another look at Aramis Ramirez's game-winning HR in the 8th inning yesterday - here he rounds the bases.

Just a few notes before the Cubs and Phillies go at it in a noon start today:

  • I loved one particular part of Marlon Byrd's quote in this article which was mostly about his two-run homer yesterday:
    "Playing baseball is the best job in the world."
    If only all ballplayers felt that way.
  • The major league record for strikeouts in a season by a pitcher who pitched exclusively in relief is 181, by the Red Sox' Dick Radatz in 1964. It was a different era; Radatz threw 157 innings. The NL record is 157, by Brad Lidge for the Astros in 2004 in 94.2 innings. Carlos Marmol has 81 in 42.2 innings in 42 appearances. That projects to 33 more appearances and (likely) about 33 more innings and (approximately) 64 more K's at that pace, which would give him 145. That would rank him seventh on the reliever-only list (with far fewer innings than anyone above him), and would keep him on pace to keep his 27th place ranking in the entire National League this year.
  • According to Bruce Miles, the Cubs entered yesterday with a 26-19 record while allowing three runs or less. They added one to that win total with yesterday's win; you can see how scoring only a run more every now and then would have been a big help, especially with the team's record in one-run games (12-20). If the Cubs could have won even four of the one-run games they have lost -- to be at .500 at 16-16 -- that would have had them now at only five games out of first place.

    There's still time to turn this around, but they need a run right now.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
vs. Cole Hamels
Cole Hamels
4-7 W-L 7-7
4.61 ERA 3.78
83 SO 107
28 BB 39
8 HR 19
vs. Phi -- vs. Cubs

2010 - Randy Wells 4-7 18 18 0 0 0 0 105.1 119 55 54 8 28 83 4.61 1.40

2010 - Cole Hamels 7-7 18 18 0 0 0 0 112.0 110 50 47 19 39 107 3.78 1.33

Cole Hamels is 3-1, 2.61 in five career starts vs. the Cubs, but has not faced them since August 28, 2008, when he held the Cubs to one run in seven innings and the Phillies bullpen blew the game; the game-winning hit was a grand slam by Aramis Ramirez, who is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. That'd work for me. Alfonso Soriano has homered three times off Hamels in 26 AB, but overall is only 5-for-26 against him.

Randy Wells has made 45 major league starts, but has never faced the Phillies. Only two current Phillies, backup C Brian Schneider (2-for-3) and OF Ben Francisco (1-for-3) have ever faced him. Advantage Wells? Who knows? Wells has a 2.18 ERA in his last three starts (1-2 record over 20.2 innings and a 1.02 WHIP), so hopefully that continues this afternoon.

Today's game is again on the CSN's -- both Chicago and Philadelphia. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 12 noon CDT, and the overflows will post at 1 pm, 2 pm and 2:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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