September 22nd, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 1   5 8 1
Chicago 2 1 2 0 2 0 2 0 X   9 15 0
W – R. Hill (10-8) L – Z. Duke (3-8) S – None
Homeruns: A. Soriano (30 & 31) A. Ramirez (26) D. Lee (19) N. McLouth (13)

Box Score

When I was a child, my mom hyped up a movie called It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. She told me all about how good it was, despite being made seemingly forever ago when you’re a kid. I watched it reluctantly and actually enjoyed it. It reminds me about this series in a way. I watch it reluctantly, with three lefties on tap to face the Cubs. I had apprehension about the prospect of losing all three games based on the struggles we’ve had. Thankfully, like the movie, I’ve found this series very pleasing to the eyes. A sweep might be in the works tomorrow.

  • Today marked not only the 31st start by Rich Hill this season, but also his 10th win of the year. When I saw the numbers in the first inning for Hill, it got me thinking about something that Len would mention later in the game. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened this year, but it’s a lot. It seems like every time I notice something and think about expounding on it, Len mentions in later in the game and makes it look like I was just using his info. Today the topic was the fact that the Cubs have four starters in the rotation with at least 30 starts. Last year, just Zambrano made over 30. Before that, you have to go all the way back to the magical season of 2003 when Clement, Wood, Prior and Zambrano all had 30 + and Shawn Estes just missed it with 28. We all know what happened that year, so maybe we’re in for good things again this year. It’s nice to see rotation durability, especially for a team that has gone through so much disappointment in that area over the last few years. It’s nice to have five guys who take the ball every time out.
  • Alfonso Soriano continues to be on a tear this month and could be a legit candidate to win the player of the month in the NL. If he can stay hot this week and see Matt Holliday cool off a little, he’ll probably win it. It’s funny because I wondered aloud if the Cubs would get a 30 HR guy this season just a few weeks ago and now I wonder if maybe we could have a 40 HR guy. Obviously Soriano would have to go on one of the most awe inspiring tears ever, but the way he’s been hitting this season, I wouldn’t put it past him. I’d love to see 35 this year though. What amazes me is that as hot as he’s been, think about how hot Sammy Sosa was the year he hit 20 homeruns in the month of June. I don’t know that we really appreciated that number as much as we should have when it happened.
  • There were some really weird double plays today on bad baserunning. In the first inning, with Rich Hill in trouble after the first two batters reach base, he gets Freddy Sanchez to hit a lazy fly to right. For some reason, Nyjer Morgan decides it would be appropriate to advance to third before tagging. Murton makes the catch and fires a terrible short hop throw to second to double off Morgan and essentially get Hill out of trouble.In the 6th inning, with Lee on first after a single, Ramirez pops the ball up to Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez appears to fake out Lee and make him think he was going to drop the ball. He made the catch easily and doubled Lee off at first. Lee should have known better. On a play like that, you stay put and take your lumps for being thrown out at second if he drops it. Minimize the possible damage. Shame on him.

    In the 7th inning Sam Fuld, who is on the roster because of the September callups, made an electrifying leaping grab into the wall in right and turned to fire a strike to Lee for yet another double play on a popup / flyball. Gotta give the kid some love for being brave enough to go full speed into the bricks. He’s either naive or completely fearless.

  • The Cubs set a single season attendance record this year. It doesn’t excite me too much, seeing that they added more seats last year and we were so bad that season. It was as if we were due for it this year by default.As I write this, the Brewers and Braves are tied in the 9th. Let’s get those Braves hats out and pull for a win.
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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