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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Nationals, Monday 7/2, 6:05 CT

This will be the last appearance for the Cubs at RFK Stadium, as the Nats will move into their new ballpark next year. Good thing, too -- the Cubs won the first game they played at RFK in 2005, but have lost all the other games there since, five of them. However, they did sweep the Nats at Wrigley Field back in May.

Innocent Little Walk Dept.: Through 80 games the Cubs have drawn 254 walks, or 3.175 per game. If they keep up this pace they will walk 514 times in 2007 -- that's 119 more than last year, and would have ranked 9th in the NL in 2006. They currently rank 13th. That's still mediocre, but better than the dead last they did rank a year ago (and by a huge margin -- the next lowest total was the Pirates' 459). At the current pace they'll pass last year's total on August 21 in San Francisco -- with 37 games remaining after that.

That's for you, Dusty.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
vs. Jason Simontacchi
J. Simontacchi
6-4 W-L 5-5
4.03 ERA 5.81
87 SO 33
23 BB 17
13 HR 7
vs. Was -- vs. Cubs
Good lord, Jason Simontacchi??!?!?! The last we saw of him, he was trudging out of Cubs spring camp in 2006, supposedly done. That's a nasty-looking ERA, but he's leading the Nats in wins, despite not even being on the roster until May 8. His last start against the Cubs was this game in the famous five-game series vs. the Cardinals in September 2003; he was long gone by the time Sammy Sosa hit a walkoff in the 15th inning off of... ex-Cub Jeff Fassero.

Ted Lilly, uncharacteristically, walked five in his last start (he'd only walked 18 in his first 15 starts). Naturally, in this goofy season, that resulted in a win. He's 2-2, 2.25 lifetime in 5 starts vs. the Nats/Expos, which is the franchise he made his major league debut with in 1999 -- after he was traded there from the Dodgers for, among others... ex-Cub Mark Grudzielanek. Guess it's ex-Cub-reference day!

Today's game is cable-only: CSN and MASN. You can also find it at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

I've made a ticket exchange post for the next homestand today; you can always find these by clicking "Ticket Exchanges" on the left sidebar. If you find these have comments disabled, as they may after a few days, let me know and I'll re-enable them.

Finally, the weekend series, as you probably know, set a record for attendance at 124,810. That created this long line at the "Premium Ticket Services" booth at about 10:45 am yesterday. Passed along without comment:

(as always, click on thumbnail to view full-size in new browser window. If you are using IE, you may have to click the lower-right corner of the image in the new window to expand it to its full size; in Firefox click anywhere on the image. Photo by David Sameshima)

Discuss amongst yourselves.