July 30th, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Philadelphia 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0   4 9 0
Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0   1 3 0
W – C. Hamels (12-5)  L  - T. Lilly (11-5) S – B. Myers (7)
Homeruns: T. Iguchi (7) A. Rowand (15) R. Theriot (3)

Box Score


(AP Photo/Jerry Lai)

I’m getting used to this best record in MLB since June 3rd stuff. It’s taken me to the point where I honestly expect the Cubs to win every game and losing even one feels like a tragedy. Tonight was a big night, because it would have ended the chase for the top spot in the Central. Instead, we’ll have to hope we can take care of business tomorrow and hope the Brewers do their part against the Mets.

If the Cubs are going to be successful the rest of the season and into the playoffs, they have to begin to hit lefties. We’re in the bottom five in batting average and on base percentage against the lefties in the NL. Don’t get me wrong, Cole Hamels is a very good pitcher, but it’s not just Hamels that has stifled us. Lou at one point went to the funky lineup with Soriano in the fifth spot to change things up. I’m not sure if that’s the answer, but something needs to happen. Who knows, maybe Matt Murton is the bat we need to combat the lefties. Maybe this chance to win the RF spot down the stretch is the incentive he needs to step his game up to the quality we saw last year. If he can do that, he might just be the answer to this lefty problem.

Ryan Theriot was very good tonight. He’s turned into a good everyday shortstop, which is something even Lou probably didn’t expect. Coming into the year, most people were saying that Theriot was not a ML shortstop and that he didn’t have the glove to play the position. He’s served up a lot of crow on a silver platter for people to eat this season with his 2 errors in 50+ games at short. He tried his best to win the game on his own with two hits, but when you’re the only one hitting the ball, you can’t expect much.

Misc. Notes

  • Rick Sutcliffe said that Ted Lilly was sending Jimmy Rollins a message when his pitch went behind him in the 1st. Rick, please shut up.
  • Derrek Lee’s catch in the 3rd on Jimmy Rollin’s foul pop was a thing of beauty. On a full sprint toward the dangerous part of the field, he makes the catch.
  • The Phillies had both Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn go down with injuries. I don’t root for injuries, but I’m hoping these guys need to sit for the next two days and then come back for the Milwaukee series.
  • Ronny Cedeno didn’t help his cause in my book when he swung at the first pitch as a pinch hitter for Lilly. The Cubs had just gotten Michael Wuertz up to get ready. I would have liked to see him take a few pitches.
  • Is it just me, or does having the game on ESPN just make it seem more intense? I get excited by it.

    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Cole Hamels (35.1%)
  • Second Star – Aaron Rowand (21.9%)
  • Third Star – Ryan Theriot (9.7%)
  • Turd of the Game – Ted Lilly (-16.9%)

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    Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail