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OK, You Can Officially Get Sucked In Now

The Phillies scored five runs in the first and held on to beat the Cardinals 7-4.

The Reds blew a 7-3 eighth inning lead, but Adam Dunn homered in the tenth and they beat the Astros 9-7. Best news here is that Billy Wagner threw two innings and so probably will be unavailable tomorrow.

So with forty-one games to go, the Cubs are alone in first place at this moment, half a game ahead of both St. Louis and Houston.

There is a long way to go, of course, and the Cubs were even in first place on this date two years ago, on the way down -- they fell out of first on August 18 and finished third, five games out.

But here's an instructive story. Brian called me tonight looking for a ticket for Kristy, his fiancee, for tomorrow. I don't have any right now, but told him I'd look. He said Dave -- his dad -- told him that he was actually excited about the prospects of the Cubs going deep into the postseason.

Now you have to understand that Dave has played and coached semipro ball for many years, and he is now a team owner. I've never seen him this enthusiastic about the Cubs; many times he turns into a devil's advocate type critic even when the team is going well.

If Dave thinks things are looking good for the ballclub, I think you can figure that they really do look good. I have said, as you know, for a while, that if the pitching is consistent, the team could run up six or eight wins in a row. Right now would be an excellent time to do just that.

In the meantime, let's enjoy first place, for as long as it lasts.