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Blissfully Unaware

Sleep is good.

I went to sleep after the top of the fourth inning of the game last night -- not by choice, I had to get up for work at 3 am.

So I missed the Neifi! misplay that helped lead to the Padres' four-run fifth-inning rally.

As the saying goes, all good things must end, and thus ended the Cubs' seven-game winning streak. The Padres beat the Cubs 6-2, and Sergio Mitre actually deserved a better fate -- all the runs were earned because even though Neifi! made a throwing error, it was on a potential double play. Scoring rules don't allow you to assume a double play, and since one out was recorded on the play, the runs scoring on the three subsequent hits all go against Mitre's record.

This is something that you might be able to chalk up to inexperienced pitching, or what we otherwise might call "Matt Clement Syndrome" -- the inability to shake off poor defensive play or umpiring calls that a pitcher thinks go against him, and bear down and shut the other side down. We saw Clement do this time after time -- not being able to settle down after an error or some close calls that he didn't get.

Before I talk more about last night's loss, of which I really know only from the boxscore, let me clarify something we all discussed at length yesterday -- the on-base and hit streak that Derrek Lee put up during the two previous games.

I asked Mike, who knows everything, about hit streaks. He told me that hit streaks of Lee's type, and hitting streaks in general, are considered NOT to be broken by walks. For example, if a player on a consecutive-game hitting streak should have a game in which he walks in ALL of his plate appearances, the streak is considered intact.

It's the same for the hit streaks. The record for consecutive hits is 12 -- held by Walt Dropo and Pinky Higgins.

If you look here, though, only Dropo is listed, because that page lists the record as "Most Consecutive Hits (No Bases on Balls)".

I'd go with that, but the general consensus is that walks don't break such streaks.

For his part, Lee took care of any record talk by meekly grounding out to third his first time up, then striking out with two runners on base in the second, winding up 0-for-5. The Cubs' streak of ten-plus-hit games, which was also at seven, was snapped as well last night -- they had eight hits, as well as five walks, which ought to generate more than two runs most nights.

It didn't last night, and I am going to resort to a platitude here:

You can't win 'em all.

There were some other good things: Neifi! had two hits, extending his hitting streak (yes, hitting streak!) to twelve games, and several members of the bullpen who had to be found by search party (Cliff Bartosh, Joe Borowski) did a pretty good job of shutting the Padres down after the horrid fifth. Also, Todd Hollandsworth went 3-for-4, raising his average to .234, and though it didn't help produce a win, it was the right choice. Holly came into the game 8-for-17 lifetime against Adam Eaton, and so is now 11-for-21 against him. Against the lefty Darrell May on Saturday night, Jason Dubois should be back in the lineup. This might also get Dusty to throw Jerry Hairston in, which would bench the hot Todd Walker -- unless he puts Hairston in CF for a night. Corey Patterson looked bad again last night, striking out twice and having that got-to-go-to-the-bathroom look on his face after one of them.

Another streak got extended last night -- that of Comcast Sports Net's production team making a gaffe.

They misspelled Khalil Greene's name when showing a graphic with the Padres' lineup, spelling it "KAHLIL". Not an easy name to spell, true -- but something that ought to be checked and double-checked.

Hey, when I'm wrong I admit it. Would that the MSM do the same.

Both Nomar and Mark Prior were spotted in the dugout on the telecast -- in fact, they were sitting next to each other, chatting, sort of the "injury kaffeeklatsch".

Good news (for the Cubs, anyway): Jake Peavy, the Padres' best pitcher and a Cub tormentor, has a bacterial infection and may not pitch on Sunday as scheduled. And there's also this note which tells you how few good lefthanded pitchers the Cubs have had for the last thirty-plus years:

Glendon Rusch is the first Cubs left-handed pitcher ever to throw a complete game in San Diego. Steve Trout (1987), Juan Pizarro (1971) and Ken Holtzman (1969) are the only other Cubs lefties to throw complete games against the Padres, but all three games were at Wrigley Field.

Nuff said. Let's start another winning streak tonight.