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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Phillies, Tuesday 7/31, 7:05 CT

Had enough trade talk? Fun, but maybe we should move on to tonight's game. If you haven't had enough, keep it up in this diary. For the rest of you, let's talk about the baseball game that's going to be played tonight at Wrigley Field.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Marquis
J. Marquis
vs. Adam Eaton
A. Eaton
7-6 W-L 9-6
4.20 ERA 5.83
68 SO 76
49 BB 52
16 HR 19
vs. Phi -- vs. Cubs
Jason Marquis was bad in his last start, one of his worst of the season. However, I note that he has thrown much better at Wrigley Field (5-2, 3.72 in 11 starts) than on the road (2-4, 4.80 in 10 starts). On the other hand, he's got a 6.67 ERA in July. Thus, perhaps we should be thankful that July is over tonight. He really has got to turn it around. The Cubs' starting pitching has, in general, been a real strength this year -- and if they're going to continue the 33-18 streak they've been on since June 3, they'll need Marquis to step up.

Adam Eaton is 5-2, 4.31 vs. the Cubs in his career, but has not faced the Cubs since he was with the Padres, June 3, 2005, and not at Wrigley Field since April 11, 2005 -- that was one of the six starts Ryan Dempster made for the Cubs. The only SD run in that game scored when Jeromy Burnitz dropped a line drive hit right at him.

OK, enough nostalgia. I think I wasn't effusive enough in my praise of Cole Hamels yesterday, so let me put Eaton up on a pedestal. He's too young (not quite 30) to be elected President, so he will be, soon, named US Senator from Pennsylvania by acclamation. Once he is there he will broker peace agreements among all major nations, join a space shuttle mission that will solve many mysteries of the solar system, and personally invent a system that will finally, with no further debates possible, get a single baseball statistic that will define each individual major league player's value.

Or not. In more mundane matters, Derrek Lee is only 3-for-13 vs. Eaton, but two of the hits are HR. Jason Kendall is 4-for-10. Also, the Phillies picked up some bullpen help today, trading for Julio Mateo from the Mariners. They probably should have gotten a right fielder, as yesterday they had to play Greg Dobbs, who is an infielder, in that spot after Shane Victorino AND Michael Bourn (Ultimatum) were both injured.

Very few of you will see this game, as it's not on EI, and is on WCIU in Chicago, which can only be received by TV sets that have been given special magical powers. I am sworn to secrecy about what those powers are. So, try the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Mets/Brewers game

Discuss amongst yourselves.