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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Nationals, Sunday 4/27, 12:35 CT

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Chicago Cubs
@ Washington Nationals

Sunday, Apr 27, 2008, 12:35 PM CDT
Nationals Park

Ted Lilly vs John Lannan

Complete Coverage >


We are, once again, in uncharted territory. There are three games remaining in the month of April. The Cubs' win last night tied the franchise record for wins in April, 16 (it was set in 1969, and to be fair, there are more games played now in April than there were in past years). Derrek Lee has seven home runs; the club record for HR in April is eight, set by Lee Walls in 1958 and tied by Sammy Sosa in 2000 and 2002.

Keep up the good work.

Stop the presses -- Greg Couch actually wrote a good column today with which I agree 100 %: Get Alfonso Soriano out of the leadoff spot when he returns from the DL. Couch writes:So what should [Lou] Piniella do?

Move him down to sixth in the lineup, where his power matters more and his selfishness hurts the team less. He can do great things, almost carry a team, when he's on. But in the postseason, you have to be more disciplined than ever.

A-freakin-men.

On the other hand, something I disagree with in today's Sun-Times: Chris DeLuca says "don't count the Cardinals out. Not to diss them too much, but I think St. Louis will come back to Earth -- especially if Albert Pujols' elbow blows out, which it could at any time. On another topic, DeLuca reminds us that Mike Cameron's 25-game suspension ends today and he will make his season debut Tuesday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Bruce Miles writes today on the positives and negatives of the Cubs' newfound propensity to attempt stolen bases.

And, the usual Mike Downey nonsense, in which he attempts to "rank" the top 25 regular season games in Cub history. (He managed to get the date wrong on the one he puts on the top of the list -- the NL East division clincher in Pittsburgh was on September 24, 1984, not September 9.)

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. John Lannan
J. Lannan
Nationals
1-3 W-L 1-2
7.30 ERA 3.42
18 SO 21
11 BB 10
4 HR 2
vs. Was -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Ted Lilly 1-3 5 5 0 0 0 0 24.2 29 20 20 4 11 18 7.30 1.62


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - John Lannan 1-2 4 4 0 0 0 0 23.2 24 9 9 2 10 21 3.42 1.44

Ted Lilly threw very well in his last start. It's time to build on that and get that ERA, currently orbiting Mars, down to a reasonable level. It'll take a while. Even if he does what Z did last night -- throw seven scoreless -- his ERA would drop only to 5.68. There's a fair chance he can do this against this franchise -- last year he won his only start vs. Washington, allowing one run in 7 IP. He's particularly good vs. Nats SS Cristian Guzman (1-for-18, 8 strikeouts).

John Lannan has never faced the Cubs -- in this series, of the three starters for the Nats, the Cubs had previously faced one of the three once. No wonder Washington has so much trouble, with such an inexperienced starting staff. Lannan's numbers are pretty decent so far this year -- but with 10 walks in 23.2 IP, expect the newly-patient Cub hitters to try to wait him out.

Today's game is on WGN. Yes, this time for sure. It's also on MASN cable in the Washington/Baltimore area, and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Today's overflow comment thread will post at 2:00 CT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.