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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Monday 9/17, 7:05 CT

Players don't think this way, but we do. What am I talking about? Bear with me... it was just about three years ago that the Cubs came back from a disastrous trip to New York to play the final week at home, still leading the wild card race by one game with six to go after beating the under-.500 Reds decisively in the first of a four-game series.

Then the Reds took three straight in soul-crushing fashion, the last two in 12 innings, the last one on a double by Javier Valentin off Kyle Farnsworth after Mark Prior had pitched the game of his life (striking out sixteen in nine innings), virtually eliminating the Cubs from a race we all thought was won.

What I mean by "players not thinking this way" is this: from those 2004 teams, only ten players remain on today's active rosters (six Cubs: Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood and Michael Wuertz, and four Reds: Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Aaron Harang, and that darned Valentin -- eerily, two 2004 Reds have died since, Cory Lidle and Josh Hancock). The rest of the current Cubs and Reds weren't here, know nothing of that devastating series, and look only toward the three games to come this week.

But WE remember. We owe 'em one. Let's go Cubs.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Hill
R. Hill
vs. Bronson Arroyo
B. Arroyo
9-8 W-L 9-14
3.91 ERA 4.31
168 SO 147
59 BB 55
27 HR 24
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs
One year ago yesterday, Rich Hill threw the best game of his young career to that date -- a two-hit shutout of the Reds at Wrigley Field, the only CG shutout they had last year. He's been very good vs. Cincinnati this year, too -- 1-0, 1.50 in two starts, the win coming back on April 14 at Wrigley Field, when he allowed them three hits and no runs in a 7-0 Cubs win. He's handled almost everyone on the Reds well -- Edwin Encarnacion has hit two HR off Hill, but those are the only two hits he has (2-for-11).

Bronson Arroyo had a really good first year in the NL after spending several years as an AL East pitcher, including going 4-0 vs. the Cubs and homering twice off Glendon Rusch in 2006. 2007 hasn't been nearly as kind to Arroyo; the Cubs have beaten him twice, including the above-mentioned April 14 game that Hill won. It might not be a bad day to give Jacque Jones (4-for-28 vs. Arroyo) and/or Alfonso Soriano (4-for-27 vs. Arroyo) the day off, if Lou feels they need one.

Oh, incidentally, Bronson? Nice hair flip.

today's Mediacenter link. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Brewers/Astros game (7:05 CT start)

Discuss amongst yourselves.