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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Saturday 7/28, 6:10 CT

I was all ready to write that the Cubs needed to win just to keep pace, since it appeared that the Brewers, who had a 6-0 lead after 2 1/2 innings in their first game in St. Louis, were cruising to an easy win. But lo and behold, the Cardinals came back and won 7-6, putting the Cubs 2.5 games behind at this writing -- that's the second consecutive appearance in which Francisco Cordero blew a save. And you think the Cubs have bullpen troubles.

Milwaukee's got another game tonight with St. Louis, so with a Cubs win and another Cardinals win (and man, is it hard to root for the Cardinals, but today, we do so), the Cubs could cut the division lead to 1.5 games. Let's go!

Today's Starting Pitchers
Sean Marshall
S. Marshall
vs. Aaron Harang
A. Harang
4-4 W-L 10-2
3.25 ERA 3.45
45 SO 138
21 BB 39
6 HR 12
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs
Sean Marshall has never faced the Reds. The only Red he has faced who he may face tonight is Jeff Conine (1-for-2). He's thrown well in both his starts since the All-Star break (12 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K; 2.25 ERA, 1.167 WHIP), but has only a no-decision and a loss to show for that performance.

Aaron Harang -- nice beard, buddy -- is dominant. He's got the second best winning percentage (behind Brad Penny) in the National League. He hasn't lost at home since May 5, and in his last start became only the second ML pitcher (Roy Halladay on April 13 the other) to throw ten innings in a single game this season. He's 6-1 lifetime vs. the Cubs, 1-0 this year. He's invincible. And he saved some puppies, too. We're doomed.

(Is that enough? I hope so.)

Today's game is a cable-only feature on CSN Chicago and FSN Ohio. Thus, you EI viewers will likely be treated to the Reds announcers again. Otherwise, try the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Brewers/Cardinals night game

Discuss amongst yourselves.