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Yes, there are fifteen of them (I made sure to count).

Cubs pitchers brought their strikeout shoes to the ballpark Wednesday night; Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood combined for a season-high 15 strikeouts and the Cubs beat the Padres 8-5 in one of those "wasn't as close as the score indicated" games, made closer because Wood wasn't sharp in the ninth inning, allowing three hits and a run to score after two were out.

The big news from yesterday, is, of course, something we have discussed to death here: the Cubs' signing of Jim Edmonds and optioning of Felix Pie to Iowa. There isn't much more to be said: it's done. He's here, will start today, and if he does well and helps the Cubs win, I'm all for it. Now, let me say that on the face of it, I'm against this signing because it makes little sense from virtually every standpoint (baseball: he seems to have little left; clubhouse chemistry: he's acquired a reputation as an aloof loner; and fan support: virtually every Cubs fan hates him). All I can say is that if he indeed is as done as I think he is, that Jim Hendry won't waste any time releasing him and bringing Pie back.

The rest of this recap is happier: the Cubs' offense clicked last night. Everyone except Derrek Lee (and maybe he needs a day off -- he looked tired and went 0-for-5) got a hit and scored a run. Biggest contributors: Geovany Soto with an RBI single and two-run HR, and Alfonso Soriano, a leadoff HR and two-run single.

BCB reader drewishdrewid and his wife Laura joined us last night; nice to see you again, and also Jessica, now known here as Doggie Stalker, in from New York for the weekend. She ate her traditional good-luck tuna sandwich in the bottom of the first inning, and spent much of the rest of the game "visiting" her "other" seats in the terrace reserve, section 209, and staring at the ground. I expect her to do a lot of that this afternoon, when Greg Maddux takes the mound for the Padres.

We can afford to do silly stuff like that now, right? The Cubs are 16-7 at home, are playing well, and despite the fact that we all love Greg Maddux, I want nothing more today than to beat his team (he doesn't have to take the loss, after all). I'll have a game thread up in about three hours. Until then, here are some photos from last night's win.

Kosuke Fukudome doubles in the second inning

Reed Johnson about to catch Khalil Greene's long drive in the 5th

Ryan Theriot rounds third and scores after Aramis Ramirez doubles in the 6th

Dive! Dive!
Padres CF Jody Gerut dives but cannot catch Johnson's double in the 7th

Fukudome & Johnson celebrating the win

Celebrate again!
Fukudome & Soriano celebrating the win

Click on photos to open a larger version in a new browser window. All photos by David Sameshima