Carlos Zambrano improved his record to 14-5 today and the erstwhile hapless Cubs took out their frustrations on Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies, besting them 11-2 in a game that was never close. For those of us that have watched the Cubs find a plethora of ways to lose in the past few days it was like a cold beer on a hot summer day. Aramis Ramirez led the onslaught, going 3-5 with 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored and a homerun. Nevin hit a real moonshot in his 3 for 4 effort – somewhere out there a Cubs fan has a lopsided baseball for a souvenir. Angel Pagan and Michael Barrett also contributed round-trippers and Matt Murton had a timely hit and a spectacular grab to contribute as well.

Z Man was in control right from the gitgo – he scattered 6 hits in his seven innings’ work and had one walk to go along with seven strikeouts. Historically Cy Young and MVP candidates tend to come from contending teams but there have been exceptions (notably Greg Maddux and Andre Dawson.) Let’s hope that Z gets his due consideration. Recent callup Jae-kuk Ryu closed out the game with two effective innings of relief. Jal hat da, Jae-kuk! Michael Barrett is now batting .324 with power stats to boot and Juan Pierre has quietly raised his average to .285. Matt Murton is hitting .290 after catching fire about three weeks ago and “The Riot” is now hitting an even .300.

The Cubs now travel to St. Louis to face their favorite whipping boys; they look to avenge a less than spectacular series in Wrigley that saw them lose two out of three. Albert Pujols is now on fire and the Redbirds hold on to a slim lead over the Reds. The Cubs have yet to make a decision on who will start in Sunday’s game, but I’m gonna guess that Dusty will go with Glendon Rusch.

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