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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Dodgers, Monday 9/3, 3:05 CT

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In this wacky year where, with four weeks to go in the season, ten NL teams are over .500 and within 6.5 games of a playoff spot, the Dodgers, who sit four games behind both the NL West and NL Wild Card leaders, actually have a record a half-game better than the division-leading Cubs.

Doesn't matter to the Cubs, right? Just get in.

Leftover note from the Astros series: I happened across pencefan.com, a Hunter Pence fansite, this morning. The author, a fan of Pence and the Astros, originally set it up under the domain name HunterPence.com:

HunterPence.com will become a fan-site for everything anything you want to know about Hunter Pence. This site is run and developed by a life-long fan of the Houston Astros.. It has no affiliation with the Houston Astros organization or is it endorsed by Hunter Pence himself. It is just a Fan-Site, and as a fan-site it will depend on the fans to make it more then a speed bump on the Internet highway.
Apparently Pence and his lawyers didn't like that:
I would like to say I am disappointed in the actions of Hunter Pence’s representatives in the last few months that have threatened legal action over the use of HunterPence.com as a fan site. Claiming that I registered the domain name in bad faith and meant to use it to extort or exploit Hunter Pence in some way. This site was setup as a fan site in general; it has never had any profitability and would never have had anything of the kind. With this said I will be handing over the domain name HunterPence.com in extreme protest to the representatives who have forced their hand over a simple fan website for a player in question. This being simply said if I was contacted in a proper way and asked by Pence or a representative that he wanted the domain name for personal use, I would have handed it over ASAP. At this point in time with what has been said and threatened, I have to clear my own name because I feel this whole event has been a defamation of my own character. So now I have to revaluate my own interest in running a fan website for Hunter Pence, if this is how I might continue to be treated down the road.
Why do people have to do this? I am well aware of what intellectual property rights are, and that some people are trying to extort money from others by registering domain names. But that clearly wasn't the case here. Why threaten legal action when a simple request would have accomplished the same thing? I just don't understand this at all.

Enough. Go Astros -- for the next three days, anyway.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Esteban Loaiza
E. Loaiza
Dodgers
14-11 W-L 1-0
4.06 ERA 1.84
149 SO 5
82 BB 4
21 HR 1
vs. LA -- vs. Cubs
Much has happened since the Cubs last played the Dodgers in Los Angeles in late May, and lost two of three. They finished that series four games under .500 and five games out of first place. The only game they won was won by Z, who allowed eight hits and two runs in 7.2 IP, with eight strikeouts. It would be nice, Z, if you could replicate that today. He usually throws well vs. LA -- 2-1, 1.23 in five lifetime starts -- and not a single player on the Dodgers' current roster has ever homered off him.

The Yahoo preview of this game contains the following gem about Esteban Loaiza:

He is 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in seven career starts against the Dodgers, last facing them May 13, 2005 with Washington.
I puzzled over that one for a while, until I realized that May 13, 2005 game was thrown by Loaiza against the Cubs, not the Dodgers. The Cubs won it off the Nats' bullpen after Loaiza threw seven decent innings. It was until this year the only game the Cubs had ever won in Washington since the Expos moved there. The Cubs beat Loaiza on June 29, 2003 and July 2, 2004, when he was a member of the White Sox, and he beat the Cubs as a White Sock on June 27, 2004, and on September 29, 1996, when he was a Pittsburgh Pirate (and have a look at some of the riffraff that played for the Cubs that day). None of those games is relevant to today's Loaiza. He threw well in two starts for the A's (both against Toronto; those are the stats in the pitcher box above) before the Dodgers picked him up last week. Cliff Floyd (9-for-26, .346..370/.577, 1 HR) and Aramis Ramirez (4-for-7, a double, two walks) are the only current Cubs who have had any sort of success vs. Loaiza.

Today's game is once again on WGN. Incidentally, Wednesday night's game is being picked up by ESPN. For other games today check out the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

MLB.com Gameday for the Astros/Brewers game (1:05 CT start)

MLB.com Gameday for the Pirates/Cardinals game (1:15 CT start)

And, please visit, for the Dodger fan's point of view, our SB Nation Dodger site True Blue LA.

Discuss amongst yourselves.