Thursday, July 23, 2009

Phillies finally stop streaking; Cubs 5-2 since the break

Wednesday: Cubs 10, Phillies 5

What was your favorite thing about Wednesday's win?

A) Ryan Theriot: 3-for-5 to raise his average to .300 for the first time since May 9, 3 SB
B) Milton Bradley: Returns from Lou's doghouse, 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a walk
C) Aramis Ramirez: 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and two walks

D) Alfonso Soriano: 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI, July average at .328
E) Carlos Zambrano: 6.2 IP, win #7

It was that kind of game. The kind of game where bloggers can make lists of positive statistics and ask their readers which one is their favorite.

The Cubs had 13 hits--Koyie Hill and Carlos Zambrano were the only starters without one. The offensive outburst finally put that Phillies winning streak to bed, and it masked an okay-but-subpar outing by Zambrano.

It also netted a successful 5-2 road trip to begin the second half. And none of us can be shocked about a series loss in Philadelphia--the Cubs haven't won a series there since 2001. But by taking care of business in Washington, the Cubs stand at 7-3 in their last 10 as they head into a 7-game homestand (3 vs. Cincinnati, 4 vs. Houston).

I've certainly taken my shots at Milton Bradley, but this is still worth pointing out: the Cubs are 11-5 in the last 16 games he's played, and just 1-3 in the last four he hasn't.

Central Intelligence

The Astros scored two in the 9th off Ryan Franklin (just his second blown save in 24 chances) to secure the sweep, pulling themselves and the Cubs within one game of first. The Brewers lost on a walk-off as well, so they remain two games back.

Did you see who started for the Yankees on Tuesday? Sergio Mitre.

Mitre, you'll recall, was a Cubs prospect in the early part of this century and then started 18 games for them from 2003-2005. I remember sitting three rows behind the Cubs dugout when he beat Roy Halladay and helped his own cause with an RBI double (click on the link to see the box score from that 2005 game--take a look at the Blue Jays' leadoff man too).

Mitre was shipped to the Marlins in December, 2005, in the Juan Pierre deal. He started 27 games in 2007, going 5-8 with a 4.65 ERA. He then underwent Tommy John surgery last July, and did not throw a pitch the entire season. He signed with the Yankees last November.

But in January of this year, Mitre was suspended 50 games for violating MLB's steroid policy. He served his suspension while on the DL, and was called up Tuesday due to Chien-Ming Wang landing on the DL. He allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Orioles, getting his first win since '07 along the way.

Say what?

T.J. Houshmandzadeh says he won't play Madden any more because Madden '10 has his rating too low. He's the 6th highest-rated receiver in the NFC! Besides, we all know he can't resist the lure of Madden.


  1. Does his name fit on a jersey?

  2. I vote for C. No wait - A. Hang on, maybe D. Altho I might like B. But E is good too.

  3. The return of Aramis Ramirez has been HUGE for the Cubbies, he's such a presence in that lineup! Carlos Zambrano has pitched well of late and needs to continue, with LILLY going on the disabled list.