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If You Believe They Put A Man On The Moon: Cubs vs. Phillies Preview, Monday 7/20, 6:05 CT

PHILADELPHIA -- Arrived in Philadelphia about 1 pm this afternoon, in plenty of time to write this preview post before leaving for Citizens Bank Park. Today is, of course, the 40th anniversary of the date that humans first set foot on the moon. In an odd coincidence, the Cubs were also playing in Philadelphia on July 20, 1969 -- they swept a doubleheader in the final day of a four-game series, during which they took three of four. Let's hope for similar success in this three-game set. The Phillies are riding an eight-game winning streak, and have also won nine of their last ten games at Citizens Bank Park. It's time to put an end to that.

It appears Jake Fox has once again impressed Lou to the point where Lou's going to get him more playing time:

"I tell you what, the guy swings the bat," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said, suggesting Fox will start in the outfield tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies, probably in place of Milton Bradley in right.

Fox has, in Lou's mind, now been promoted from "the young man" to "the guy". As far as Bradley is concerned, Lou still wants him to work on hitting from the left side:

Cubs manager Lou Piniella plans to take a turn soon at trying to solve Milton Bradley's seasonlong hitting slump from the left side of the plate that neither Bradley nor two hitting coaches have cracked.

"I had a nice talk with Bradley [Sunday]," Piniella said. "I'm going to work with him personally for a while and see if we can get him going."

That likely means benching Bradley tonight for the opener of a three-game series at Philadelphia and possibly Tuesday. The Phillies have righties scheduled both days.

Well, that's just great. One more game played this year and we will be paying $21 million in 2010 and 2011... for a platoon right fielder.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
Ted Lilly
vs. Rodrigo Lopez
Rodrigo Lopez
9-6 W-L 1-0
3.18 ERA 3.18
101 SO 8
24 BB 2
17 HR 1
vs. Phi -- vs. Cubs

2009 - Ted Lilly 9-6 18 18 0 0 0 0 119.0 108 45 42 17 24 101 3.18 1.11

2009 - Rodrigo Lopez 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.1 11 4 4 0 2 8 3.18 1.15

Rodrigo Lopez -- I mean, seriously, Rodrigo Lopez? Man, the Phillies must be desperate. He hadn't pitched in the majors since 2007 when they signed him and his last good year was 2004. The last time he faced the Cubs was in 2007, when he was with the Rockies, and they hit him early and often. Now 33 years old, he has made two starts for the Phillies and pitched decently in both of them... but c'mon, he's Rodrigo Lopez. This could be a really good thing for Alfonso Soriano, who faced Lopez many times when they were both in the AL East. Soriano is 12-for-35 (.343) vs. Lopez with 3 doubles and 3 HR.

Ted Lilly was running around the outfield in Nationals Park over the weekend with seemingly no ill effects from the knee problem which pushed his start back till today. His last start vs. the Phillies was on August 30, 2008 at Wrigley Field, where he gave up three runs in six innings but the Cubs lost 5-2. Lifetime he is 1-3, 4.88 in four starts vs. the Phils. The best Philly hitter vs. Ted is Pedro Feliz (4-for-13, 2 HR).

The Cubs are back on cable today -- but the game is also being picked up by ESPN for national distribution, for those of you outside the Chicago area. For other games today see the Mediacenter. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.