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Saturday, June 19, 2004

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

The Cubs brought their new-found brand of late inning clutch wins back to Wrigley Field today!

In a matchup of the two best pitching Marks in baseball, the A's Mark (Mulder) got the better of the Cubs Mark (Prior), but the Cubs were the team slapping each other over the head at the end of the game.

Mulder pitched 8 innings, allowing 2 (earned) runs on 10 hits, 2 bases on balls, and 4 punchouts. Prior, still on a pitch count, pitched 5 innings, allowing 3 (earned) runs on 6 hits, a walk, and 5 strikeouts.

However, the real story today was the Cubs lineup and bench. Having re-activated Sammy Sosa yesterday (Friday) and Mark Grudzielanek today, Todd Hollandsworth and Todd Walker were both in reserve on the Cubs bench instead of starting in the field. In the ninth inning, Hollandsworth pinch hit for Kyle Farnsworth and got a single. Next, Walker pinch hit for Grudzielanek and also got a single. When Michael Barrett doubled off Chad Bradford, the Cubs notched another come from behind victory to beat the Athletics 4-3.

It was the Cubs first victory over the A's since Connie Mack managed the team while it played in Philadelphia... I love interleague play.

Trust me, losing is not lovable.

On Friday, Sammy Sosa returned to play his first game since sneezing May 16, and being sidelined with a back ailment.

Although "the gladiator" sprinted out to right field rather than "Lemon" Todd Hollandsworth, the Cubs fell to the mighty Athletics 1-2. Matt Clement threw a gem for 8 innings, allowing only 2 earned runs, but was out-dueled by Mark Redmond who only allowed 1 run in 8 innings of work.

Ramon Martinez committed an error in the fourth inning, ending the Cubs defense' errorless streak at 91 innings. However, the Cubs have not permitted an unearned run since June 1st, a string currently sitting at 17 games (through Saturday, June 19).

If the season ended today: The Cubs would win the NL wild card and face the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Cardinals would win the Central and face the Marlins in the first round.

In the American League, the Yankees and Twins would face off, with the Red Sox (as Wild Cards) playing the A's.

The Cubs currently have the second best record in the NL (3 behind St. Louis) and a 1 game lead over the Reds. The A's, Red Sox, and Yankees also have better records than the Cubs. If the Cubs were in the AL East, they would be 6 games behind the Yanks, who have the best record in baseball.

The Cubs have the second largest differential in Runs Scored to Runs Allowed at 63 more runs scored than allowed. The White Sox are first with 67, while the Diamondbacks are worst at -75, followed closely by the -73 Rockies.

Posted by Byron at June 19, 2004 6:41 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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