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Open Thread: NLDS Game #2, Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, Thursday 10/4, 9:00 CT

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SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- History tells us stories.

In 1984, the Cubs won the first game of the first round, then the NLCS. In fact, they won the first two games. Didn't matter -- they lost the series. In 1989, they lost the first game, won the second, then lost the series.

In 1998, they got swept. In 2003, in a similar format to this year, they lost game one to Atlanta, won game two, and won the series in five.

In this case, history tells us nothing. But if ever there were a "must-win" game in this 2007 season and postseason, it's today in Phoenix.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Doug Davis
D. Davis
D'backs
15-8 W-L 13-12
3.83 ERA 4.25
174 SO 144
55 BB 95
28 HR 21
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs
Today's pitching matchup is a rematch of a game that occurred less than six weeks ago -- a 3-1 Arizona win that turned on one bad pitch by Ted Lilly to Conor Jackson that got smacked for a two-run homer. Here's what I wrote about it at the time. Other than the HR, Lilly threw a nice game, striking out eight and walking no one in six innings. Lilly has been outstanding all season, going 10-1 in games after a Cub loss, to me the true definition of a "stopper". His control has been terrific -- with only 55 walks in 207 IP, he was among the ML leaders in fewest walks for pitchers with that many innings. In his career, he has issued only ONE walk in 66 PA to anyone currently on the Arizona roster -- to Jeff Cirillo, who isn't likely to face him tonight.

Doug Davis threw even better against a Cub offense that, at the time, was having a terrible time vs. LHP. They turned that around in September. Davis, though, has given the Cubs fits throughout his career -- he's 7-5, 3.38 lifetime vs. the Cubs, with 86 strikeouts and 30 walks in 85 innings (and Davis isn't a strikeout pitcher). Last year's poor Cub team, though, beat up on Davis, beating him 11-4 while he was still a Brewer. Key stat from that game: six walks in five innings. If the Cubs will be patient and wait Davis out, they can generate some baserunners. Of course, they did that last night, too, and failed to bring them home.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.