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Winning Streak

It can't be coincidence, but the Cubs have not lost since they placed Sammy Sosa on the 15-day DL on Saturday. Another offensive burst, this time a 13-hit attack led by a monstrous CF home run by Hee Seop Choi, led the Cubs to an easy 7-2 win over the Brewers, their third win in a row. The Brewers sure look a lot more hapless at home, where they are 5-13, than they looked at Wrigley Field last week.

This bodes well for the rest of the series, as Shawn Estes, allegedly the Cubs' weakest starter, threw seven strong innings and chimed in with two hits of his own. Shawn's got a bit of a goatee going and with it, could almost be my twin (I won't say evil twin, because he just doesn't seem all that evil to me). I've tried to find a pic of him with the goatee, but can't locate one. Maybe I'll take one of him when I go to Milwaukee on Thursday.

Other good news from last night included the three hits from Mark Grudzielanek and two from Mark Bellhorn, who almost certainly was safe at the plate when he was called out in the sixth inning, which could have made the game a total blowout. If Bellhorn can keep hitting, this ought to quiet media critics like Mike Kiley of the Sun-Times who harps almost every day about how the Cubs need a third baseman. I say they already have one. Antonio Alfonseca threw yet another scoreless inning, thereby increasing his trade value. He sure looks like he put on some weight during the long layoff, though.

Last night's telecast also pointed out yet again how good Steve Stone is. At one point deep into the count on a Brewer hitter (I forget who), he said that Estes could get him out on a curveball. The very next pitch was a perfect curve, breaking right into the strike zone for a called third strike.

Attendance last night was again sparse, 18,454, more than half of whom were cheering for the Cubs. I still don't understand why Todd Wellemeyer hasn't had a chance to pitch yet -- both the first two games in Miller Park would have been a perfect opportunity to let him make a low-pressure ML debut. I wonder if they might wind up sending him back to Iowa in a few days to add a hitter to the team for the series coming up this weekend in St. Louis.