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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Giants, Thursday 7/19, 1:20 CT

Will Barry Bonds actually play today? Yes, says the Giants website. Much has been made of this: despite the lefty-lefty matchup between Bonds and today's Cub starter, Ted Lilly, Bonds is 4-for-8 with three walks and 2 HR lifetime vs. Lilly.

This got me wondering about when those numbers were compiled. Here's when:

June 8, 2002: Lilly was still a Yankee; they played the Giants at Yankee Stadium, an excellent place for Bonds' lefthanded power. Bonds was 2-for-3 off Lilly, a single, HR and walk. (Boxscore shows 2-for-4; the last at-bat was a strikeout by Mariano Rivera.) Bonds was the DH; look who played LF for the Giants in that game!

June 22, 2003: Bonds again was the DH in this game at Oakland. He was 1-for-3 (a single) off Lilly, who didn't throw very well (9 H and 5 ER in 5 IP) but won the game anyway. Other A's relievers intentionally walked Bonds twice in this game.

June 27, 2003: Five days later, Lilly faced the Giants again, this time in San Francisco. Bonds homered and walked twice, and the Giants shut out the A's. Pedro Feliz, who will also play today, also homered off Lilly in that game. (Look who played SS for SF that day!)

Conclusions: these games were four and five years ago, when Lilly was younger and less experienced and Bonds was younger and less injured. Frankly, I don't think it will have any bearing on today's game.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
vs. Matt Morris
M. Morris
9-4 W-L 7-5
3.51 ERA 3.86
105 SO 60
28 BB 37
13 HR 10
vs. SF -- vs. Cubs
When Matt Morris was a Cardinal, he said, in September, 2003 (this is from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; the original article is no longer online, but the quote is direct):
"What’s sad is that these clubs [the Cardinals and Astros] could go right to the end, battling and each team winding up winning three games while the Cubs could sneak in there unscathed. That wouldn’t be fun.

"We’ve been battling way too long to expend our energy and then have the Cubs win."

Morris said, in fact, that if the Cardinals didn’t win, he hoped Houston did. "I really have a respect for their players," Morris said. "When we compete against them, the games are intense but they don’t have that, ‘I want to kill you, I hate you’ attitude. When it’s over, it’s easy to tip your hat to the other side.

"It’s just the way they go about it and the way we go about it. There’s professionalism involved."

Ugh. I hope the Cubs beat the living daylights out of Morris. The only players left on the Cubs' active roster who was there in 2003 are Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano. But some of the rest of us have long memories.

Ramirez, for his part, is 12-for-40 lifetime vs. Morris (.300/.341/.575) with two doubles and 3 HR. Cliff Floyd has also homered three times off Morris, and Daryle Ward is 8-for-23 (.348/.360/.522) with seven RBI. Lifetime, Morris is 11-7 with a 4.30 ERA in 25 starts and three relief appearances against the Cubs, but the last time he beat the Cubs was June 9, 2004; since then he's 0-4 against the Cubs with a 7.48 ERA.

Today's game is a cable extravaganza both in Chicago and in the Bay Area; it's on Extra Innings and at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.