08-08-08 0-Edmonds!

  • Friday August 8th – Wrigley Field
  • Game (116): Cubs 3 – Cardinals 2 – 10 innings
  • Record (70-46) – 1st place NL Central

The skinny: Call him ‘Jimmy Business': today’s game was a personal matter for Mr. Edmonds.

Two clutch home runs – the first shot giving Chicago a 1-0 lead, the second tying the game 2-all in the seventh – against the team that left him for dead.

It’s just another reminder that anything is possible when you’re inspired.

For weeks I’ve campaigned on Jimmy’s behalf for Cubs fans to adopt the once hated Cardinal.

Yet, despite Edmonds leading the team in batting during June, his two home run effort in one inning against the Sox, his dramatic Wrigley Field blast against the Braves and his grand slam against the Brewers, Cubs fans still find reasons to shun the man.

Sorry, there are no more excuses to do so after today’s game.

In Edmonds’ last 14 starts he’s collected 14 RBIs while batting .357 (15-for-42), and 13 of his last 17 hits have gone for extra bases (7 2B & 6 HR).

I get it, the guy use to be a Cubs killer, but what’s not to appreciate about Edmonds’ play with Chicago?

Including today’s effort, Ted Lilly has 15 quality starts in 25 outings this season.

Sure, he’s been prone to allowing the long ball and his strikeout totals don’t compare to Zambrano or Hardin, but don’t underestimate Lilly’s value to this starting staff.

Plus, not only is the southpaw an innings eater, but he throws well in meaningful games too.

And more, it’s a pitcher like Lilly who’s capable of being the difference maker for this club come October.

Basically, the front-running teams in the NL have a solid one-two punch at the top of the rotation – Arizona: Webb & Haren, Milwaukee: Sheets & Sabathia – but none have a three or four man the likes of Lilly and Dempster.

Obviously, this is a huge advantage for the Cubs in post season play.

On the other hand, and as I keep saying, the Cubs’ bullpen is the team’s glaring weakness.

Although, I will say the threesome of Marmol, Samardzija and Howry pitched very well this afternoon combining for 0-R, 1-H and 4-K in the final 3.2 innings.

And, with Woody (4-2, 2.96 ERA & 24 saves) still battling his own body on the sidelines (stiff back), that’s a huge performance from the pen.

Still, I’m with little confidence the Cubs’ bullpen will maintain its success from today without adding help from outside the organization.

Heading into September with this bullpen is asking for trouble, and that’s a crying shame considering the Cubs’ extra rotation weapons of Lilly and Dempster.

Finally, why do teams still run against Soriano’s accurate arm in left field?

Surely, the opposition’s advance scouting has taken note of the left fielder’s tendency to throw out runners at home, right?

Whatever the case, it’s foolish to send a runner home from third against Alfonso’s arm, just ask Joe Mather who was gunned down by Sori’s perfect throw home in the sixth.

I’m not sure why, but I like the idea of Zambrano managing more RBIs than strikeouts tomorrow!

W – Howry (5-4)

L – Franklin (4-5)

  • Notes: The Cubs have won (10 of 12) and 12 of its last 16 games.
  • The club’s (44-16) record at home is the best in MLB.
  • Chicago is the first NL team to reach 70 wins.
    • Chicago is (32-21) vs. the NL Central.
    • They’re also (8-5) in extra inning games.
      • Hank White’s walk-off single marks the Cubs’ 12th win in its final at-bat.
      • Ted Lilly is 7-0 this season when throwing 6+ innings.
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