There's not too much more to be said about the importance of winning at least two games in the series vs. the Dodgers, if the Cubs want to hang in there in the NL Central till Aramis Ramirez comes back. They are still only 4.5 games behind (four in the loss column) and many, many teams have come from such positions at this still relatively early stage of the season to winning postseason berths.
So instead of harping on lineups, etc. I thought I'd share this morning, a few links that are a bit more fun or interesting.
- ESPN.com's Nick Friedell interviewed Mike Fontenot on his recent appearance on "My Boys".
- Are umpires jobbing Milton Bradley? Here's definitive evidence that they aren't.
- Without bringing anyone's political views into it, here's an article about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and what she really did when she ruled against baseball owners in 1995:
Sotomayor, as the world now knows, acted swiftly and decisively in 1995 when she issued the injunction that effectively ended the interminable strike that cost the game and its fans the 1994 World Series. Sotomayor essentially told the team owners that they could not take it upon themselves to turn back the hands of time and renege on their agreements with the players on salary arbitration, collusion rules and competitive free agent bidding.The author correctly states that the Supreme Court ruling of 1922, giving baseball its still-existing antitrust exemption, has hurt the sport far more than it's helped.
Such is the state of a sport in which the bar is set so low that a court order against changing the rules of negotiation counts as a victory of historic proportions.
Hat tip to Rob Neyer's "Friday Filberts" for the links above.
One final note: a Texas Rangers fan was told her "Yankees Suck" T-shirt was profane. Seriously? They say things "suck" on TV network sitcoms these days. I think the Rangers management ought to lighten up.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Ted Lilly||5-4||9||9||0||0||0||0||57.1||49||25||24||10||14||47||3.77||1.10|
|2009 - Chad Billingsley||6-2||10||10||0||0||0||0||67.0||50||23||21||1||30||69||2.82||1.19|
Chad Billingsley has been one of the best pitchers in baseball again this year, tied for the NL lead in wins, fifth in ERA, ninth in strikeouts. He has made four lifetime appearances (two starts) vs. the Cubs, resulting in a 1-1 record and a 3.60 ERA. No current Cub has more than eight AB against him and in that small-sample-size universe, only Ryan Theriot has "solved" him, going 3-for-5. Billingsley has given up only one homer this year (to Brian Giles of the Padres on May 3) and I would expect today to again be a low-scoring game.
Ted Lilly has never lost to the Dodgers, the team that originally drafted him in 1996; he is 2-0 in four lifetime games (three starts). Juan Pierre, who is just about the hottest hitter in the game right now (go figure!) is 4-for-9 vs. Ted; most of the other Dodgers, he has handled pretty well.
Cable only today in the Chicago and LA markets and on EI. For today's other games see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Overflow comment threads will post today at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.