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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Braves, Friday 6/8, 6:35 CT

ATLANTA -- Man, it's hot here. How do you folks who live in the Southeast do this all summer? The temperature gauge in my rental car (which, inexplicably, has Nevada license plates) has been reading 93 or 94 degrees all afternoon.

Tonight is another pitching rematch from last weekend -- the Sunday game in which the Cubs hit early and often. Here's to a repeat performance (and thanks again to the teams for saving me editing time!):

Today's Starting Pitchers
Sean Marshall
S. Marshall
vs. Lance Cormier
L. Cormier
1-2 W-L 0-1
2.25 ERA 18.00
22 SO 1
5 BB 1
2 HR 3
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs
Sean Marshall has thrown extremely well in all of his starts this season, including last Sunday's against the Braves. Lance Cormier made his season debut last Sunday after a rehab assignment and the Cubs lit him up. But you pretty well remember all of that. What I do know about hot and humid weather like tonight's is that it can make ballparks launching pads, so keeping the ball down and throwing strikes -- something Marshall has done well so far this year -- is critical.

Meanwhile, Bruce Miles reports that Aramis Ramirez is available to pinch-hit this weekend, although:

However, the Cubs would rather have Ramirez rest and take treatment this weekend and re-evaluate him Monday to see if he needs to go on the disabled list.

"If we can ride this thing out, I think that’s our preference," Piniella said.

I think I agree with that. It should be relatively easy for Ramirez to get loose in this hot weather, but I think I'd save him for a dire emergency, if needed.

The Cubs are almost as hot as the weather, having won four of five. The Braves are on a bad streak, having lost five of six and three in a row (and have scored only six runs in the three games).

Off to the Ted soon, since I've heard traffic is horrendous.

From Matt Casey, the guy who arranged the interview I did at the NBC Sports website last week, this article about closers who have tortured their teams, including a couple of names very familiar to us.

In the Chicago area tonight's game will be seen on CSN. The rest of the country can see it on TBS -- called, in part, by our old pal Chip Caray. It's also at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.