At the risk of getting a little ahead of myself, I herewith quote Bruce Miles' article on the Cubs' chances of winning 100 games:To win 100, they would have to go 24-14 over their final 38 games. That's a tall order, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
No Cubs team has won 100 since the 1935 pennant-winners, who then fell in six games to the Tigers in the World Series.
In other words, winning 100 games guarantees nothing, although it should be more than good enough for the Cubs to capture their second straight National League Central title and their third in six seasons.
Manager Lou Piniella led the 2001 Seattle Mariners to a record of 116-46, but that team fell to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
Still, 100 victories would be symbolic, and it would be the strongest showing by a Cubs team since the 1984 division winners captured 96 wins.
That was written before last night's win, so the mark needed in the remaining 37 games is now 23-14. In their last 37 games the Cubs have gone 25-12, and that includes a 1-5 stretch right after the All-Star break. Since (and including) the game on July 23, the first game back from the DL for Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs are 19-6. Not predicting, but it sure seems within reach.
First things first: win tonight.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Ted Lilly||12-6||26||26||0||0||0||0||154.0||154||77||74||27||54||141||4.32||1.35|
|2008 - Bronson Arroyo||10-10||26||26||0||0||0||0||143.2||168||95||88||24||50||125||5.51||1.52|
This isn't the Bronson Arroyo from two years ago, who blew through the NL and blasted homer after homer off Glendon Rusch. This Arroyo has given up a ton of runs and got roughed up pretty good by the Cubs on July 10 at Wrigley Field, although the Reds won that game, hitting Ted Lilly, tonight's starter, pretty hard. Mike Fontenot homered off Arroyo that day, and of the Reds' seven homers that day, only two (by Edwin Encarnacion and by Brandon Phillips) were off Lilly. Of the other five, two were by Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr., who aren't on the team any more. Plus, the wind was blowing out that day and it won't be tonight. Votto has been a particular nemesis to Lilly, going 4-for-9 with that HR. Lilly is 7-2 in his last 14 starts with a 3.44 ERA.
Today's game is on WCIU in Chicago, so it's one of the handful of remaining games that may be difficult to find if you're not in WCIU's range. It is on FSN Ohio, so it should be on EI. Also see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Once again, a reminder that you can find the overflow comment threads, including the first pitch thread, on the right sidebar of both the front page and any interior page in the box headed "RECENT STORIES IN GAME THREADS". As yesterday, today's first pitch thread posts at 7 pm CT, and the overflow comment threads will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.