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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Sunday 9/30, 12:15 CT

CINCINNATI -- This is the thirty-ninth year of divisional play. The Cubs played 25 years in the old NL East and this is their 14th season in the NL Central. In all that time, only once (the division title year of 1989) did they have a winning record against all the other teams in their own division.

If they win today, they'll accomplish that feat again.

So that's something to shoot for, even though Lou Piniella says the regulars may not play again today:

"It doesn't really mean anything right now except an extra at-bat or two," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "I think it's more important to rest them than to play them."
There is, as I noted in yesterday's recap, one thing that one regular can shoot for -- if Mark DeRosa plays and can go 4-for-4, he'd finish the year hitting .300. He's already had two 5-for-5 games against the Reds this year, so such a day isn't impossible for DeRo.

Here's the scoop on the Cubs' possible first-round opponents -- and that's right, with one day to go in the regular season, the Cubs could still play any of three (Diamondbacks, Phillies or Mets).

If San Diego wins their game at Milwaukee today, they are the wild card winner and the Cubs would play the Diamondbacks. Period. However, if SD loses and Colorado beats Arizona, they'd be tied. That would result in a SD-Colorado playoff -- but ONLY if the Phillies and Mets BOTH lose. There are other two-team playoff scenarios, and here's a good rundown of what would happen if three or four teams tie after today's games.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
vs. Homer Bailey
H. Bailey
15-8 W-L 3-2
3.86 ERA 5.67
173 SO 23
55 BB 24
28 HR 2
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs
According to this article, Ted Lilly won't throw more than about 40 pitches today, which probably wouldn't get him enough innings to earn his sixteenth win. If he does throw five innings and qualifies for a win, that'd be the most wins by a Cub lefthander since 1970, when Kenny Holtzman won 17.

"Homer" is a really bad name for a pitcher, wouldn't you say? (It's not his true given name, either; it's David Dewitt Bailey.) Bailey is one of the Reds' best pitching prospects; he is only 21 years old and has struggled with control (24 walks in 39.2 IP). This will be his first career start against the Cubs.

Site notes: I have added the 2007 MLB postseason schedule to the right sidebar under "Stat Corner". Also, since I'll be leaving right after the game to drive back to Chicago, probably not arriving till late evening, today's recap may be delayed till tomorrow morning.

Today's game is cable-only. Well, get used to it, since that'll be the case for all the Division Series games, too. Here is today's Mediacenter link. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.