Yesterday I mentioned that the Cubs don't have anyone in the top 20 in the NL in individual HR. Their leading RBI man, Aramis Ramirez, is tied for 10th. They have no one in the top 10 in runs scored -- yet despite all this, they lead the league in runs, by a substantial margin (593, to the 2nd-ranking Phillies' 556). They also lead the league in hits, walks, doubles, BA, OBA, SLG and OPS+. Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella deserve credit for putting together a team where everyone contributes.
Curiosity, from Jessica: the San Diego Padres, who aren't a very fast team (only 25 SB all year), have exactly one since July 1 -- by Greg Maddux.
Lou Piniella agrees that the Cubs could use some Friday night games, especially coming back from road trips:"A good example is Friday," Piniella said. "We had an afternoon game in Milwaukee on Thursday, and we get in late and have a day game on Friday.
"There are certain times during the course of a season where exceptions should be made for night games [on weekends]. Not all the time, but look at the schedule and there are a handful of games where you're coming in late in the morning. Like when we came in from Arizona [at 5 a.m.]. You could use a night game on Friday to get your breath a little bit.
Lou's right about this. In addition to this past Friday, the Friday after the Tampa Bay series would have been a good time to have a night game. Perhaps a good compromise with the city would be to allow two or three a year, after returning from a road trip. That's all the Cubs have this year that would qualify. Incidentally, Lou's a little mixed up about coming back from Arizona. Yes, they had a night game there and came in at 5 am -- but they DID have a home night game the next day, Thursday, July 24 vs. the Marlins.
And, Kerry Wood says he feels fine, could pitch "tonight", but will probably be held back till the Cardinal series.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Ryan Dempster||12-4||23||23||1||0||0||0||145.2||110||54||47||11||58||126||2.90||1.15|
|2008 - Brian Moehler||6-4||20||15||0||0||0||0||93.2||101||46||44||13||26||50||4.23||1.36|
Brian Moehler has pitched twice against the Cubs already this year, with a well-pitched no-decision on no-decision on July 18 in Houston, a game lost by Bob Howry in the 9th. Jim Edmonds is the Cub who hits him best: .351/.415/.946 (13-for-37, 4 doubles, 6 HR).
Two days after that Moehler appearance, Ryan Dempster threw possibly his best game of the year, 8 shutout innings in a 9-0 Cubs win on July 20. Lance Berkman hits him well (12-for-40, 4 HR). But then, Berkman hits just about everyone well. Dempster held him to 0-for-4 last time.
Today's game is on ESPN, so all can see it -- in Chicago, it'll be on WCIU. 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". Today's first pitch thread posts at 6 pm CT, and the overflow comment threads will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.