Okay, now we’ve got a horse race! The Cubs pulled within a half game of division-leading St. Louis with another win over Dusty Baker’s Reds. Although today’s game was blacked out in the Nashville area I was able to listen to the game while I worked. Some of the takeaways I had were as follows:
- Milton Bradley, Soriano and Ramirez are starting to do what the Cubs need them to do – each had homeruns today and Soriano is hitting .438 since the All Star break. Lee has been hitting well also but was pulled out again today due to neck spasms. I don’t know what (if anything) can be done about this – I had a neck injury in 1984 and it’s something I have to deal with in the long term. One learns not to aggravate it because the alternative is a week long crick and the inability to turn one’s head.
- The Cubs found out today that it’s likely that Lilly will miss four to five starts – he is having arthroscopic surgery on his knee which will set him back about two weeks and he doesn’t intend to throw during that period due to his shoulder soreness. The last time he had this type of injury on his shoulder he missed about the same period of time. Justin Berg has been called up to take his roster spot until Dempster is activated.
- We are getting timely performances from the I-Cubs pitchers that have been called up. Hart had another strong outing today and you really can’t ask for more than what Wells has given us. If I’m not mistaken Wells is now 7-1 in his last 8 decisions.
Tomorrow the Cubs go for the sweep against the Cincinnati club – it would be really sweet because it’s Dusty’s club and the Reds are my blackout nemisis. They will then entertain the surging Houston Astros who have seven games left against the Cubbies – all of them in Wrigley Field. Now is a good time to be peaking and let’s hope they can carry the momentum into the upcoming series. This is the time for the Cubs to make their move and winning seven of your last nine is how to do it.