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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Friday 7/27, 6:10 CT

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Despite yesterday's loss, the Cubs still have the best record in the majors -- 31-16 -- since June 2. So far in two series this year vs. the Reds, they are 2-4 (losing 2 of 3 at both the GABP and Wrigley Field). Time to turn that around.

Among the hottest-hitting Cubs, believe it or not, is Jacque Jones, who since the All-Star break is hitting .333/.413/.385 with 8 RBI in 12 games. So maybe the Cubs didn't need Kenny Lofton after all -- and if you haven't already heard, he was traded to the Indians today for a minor league catcher. No, I doubt Geovany Soto would have been enough to get Lofton, and then all of you who want Soto here now would be screaming anyway. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don't make. There will be two additions to the roster tonight -- Matt Murton and Rocky Cherry, recalled from Iowa, will replace Jake Fox and Billy Petrick.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Hill
R. Hill
vs. Bronson Arroyo
B. Arroyo
6-6 W-L 4-11
3.58 ERA 4.58
105 SO 93
38 BB 45
19 HR 13
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs
And, courtesy of Bruce Miles, today's starting lineups, which were posted early (good to see Mark DeRosa back!):

Today's Starting Lineups
Cubs Reds
Soriano, lf Freel, cf
Theriot, ss Keppinger, ss
Lee, 1b Griffey, rf
Ramirez, 3b Phillips, 2b
Floyd, rf Dunn, lf
DeRosa, 2b Conine, 1b
Jones, cf Encarnacion, 3b
Kendall, c Ross, c
Hill, p Arroyo, p

Rich Hill may be only 2-2, 4.44 lifetime vs. the Reds, but recently he's dominated them, including his only career shutout last September 16, and seven innings of shutout ball in a 7-0 Cubs win on April 14 at Wrigley Field.

Bronson Arroyo is not the pitcher he was a year ago, when he won 14 games, made the All-Star team, was 23rd in MVP voting, and got bigtime publicity for his music CD. Frankly, I think he misses Glendon Rusch, off whom he homered twice last year, in consecutive starts, no less. He's been erratic this year -- threw well in his first two starts after the All-Star break, then got hit hard last weekend by the Marlins. Cliff Floyd has hit him well -- 5-for-12, .417/.462/.750 with a double and a HR.

I had misread my schedule yesterday -- it's today's game which is on CSN Plus, therefore CLTV in Chicago. It's also on EI and at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Brewers/Cardinals game

Discuss amongst yourselves.