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Clicking On All Cylinders

At a time when Cub teams of the past would go into the famed "June Swoon", the 2003 version is starting to play really well. Kerry Wood took a perfect game into the sixth before settling for a three-hit complete game and Sammy Sosa hit a 464-foot HR in the Cubs' impressive 4-1 win over the Reds last night.

With Mark Prior going today, there's a real chance the Cubs could take 3 of 4 and wind up with yet another winning road trip. With a 1.5 game lead, they're guaranteed to come home tomorrow in first place. This team has played much better on the road than at home; I hate to say that this year's team is a warm-weather team, but it does have a lot of players who are native to warmer climates and maybe this does have some impact on their performance. And the early-season weather in Chicago has been about the worst that I can ever remember for the months of April and May. So we shall see, starting tomorrow, in the first really sustained nice-weather homestand. In a week or so Hee Seop Choi will be back, and then maybe the offense will really start to perform as we thought it might earlier this year. The Cubs are first in the division in fewest runs allowed, but fourth in runs scored.

Even Tom Goodwin, who I've been telling my son is useless (and his retort: "Would you still think he was useless if he hit 1,000 home runs?" My answer: "Yes!"), had two hits last night. And frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing the idiot columnists like Jay Mariotti (and no, I won't give you a link to his latest nonsense; find it yourself) continuing to harp on the corked-bat thing. It's over; Sosa paid the penalty, and now he, just like anyone who has been asked to pay the price for a transgression, should be allowed to get on with his life and career. Even the execrable Albert Belle was allowed to continue playing without constant mentions of his corked-bat situation, and he was not only obviously guilty, but a jerk on top of that. (I have to imagine it frosts White Sox fans to know that he's the team record-holder in home runs for a single season, set in 1998.) A big deal was made out of the fact that Sosa's HR was booed. Well geez, he's playing on the road, the HR put the home team behind, and Reds fans think they are still in the division race. Wouldn't you boo that if it went against your team? I would.

Rachel update: she finally came home at 2 am, is happily sucking on popsicles at home. Yes, she's the only kid in history who had a tonsillectomy who doesn't like ice cream, so popsicles will have to do.