A League of Her Own

Wednesday Chicago Cubs Headlines

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It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it wasn't stormy, but it was cold and windy at Wrigley last night. So we've got the most fragile starter, a cat running onto the field, a play that was similar to an infamous play in game 6 of the 2003 NLCS and Dusty Baker in the house. Would you believe the Cubs won?

Harden found his groove early, pitching 6 innings of 3-hit, 2-run ball to even his record at 1-1.

"I probably didn't feel as good as I did the last game," he said, referring to a 3-inning start April 15. "I was a little more efficient with my pitches, and that definitely helped me."

Cubs hitters drew 7 walks, including another with the bases loaded. Micah Hoffpauir, getting another start in place of the still-injured Milton Bradley, made his case for more playing time with a leadoff homer in the second and a sacrifice fly in the Cubs' 3-run fifth.

"I've never doubted myself, and I never will," said Hoffpauir, a 29-year-old rookie. "For me, my confidence is what helps me play the game."

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez singled three times and drove in 3 runs.

Jim Hendry's on his way back from Iowa, and appears to be keeping the bullpen as is, for now.

There has been speculation the Cubs would call up a pitcher because the bullpen has struggled, but Hendry indicated Monday nothing was imminent.

Manager Lou Piniella echoed that Tuesday. The beleaguered bullpen got a break with a rainout Sunday and Monday being an off-day.

"We're going to pitch them all, like I said," Piniella said. "They're here. We have confidence in them. A few of them have to step it up a little bit. Like I said the other day, we haven't talked about any of our players that are in Iowa at all.

"Jim Hendry always goes down there early in the season to have a pretty good idea of where we stand in case we need to make some changes."
And an update on minor leaguers (I'd say prospects, but I think Jake Fox's prospect days are over):
Tyler Colvin, the Cubs' No. 1 draft pick in 2007, had a season-high 3 hits Monday for Class A Daytona. Colvin underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last November after playing for Class AA Tennessee.

The Cubs say they'll have Colvin DH at Daytona until he's ready to play the field.

Jake Fox extended his hitting streak to 12 games for Class AAA Iowa Monday, with a double. Fox entered Tuesday batting .460 with 7 homers and 24 RBI.
Gordo doesn't want you to forget that Milton Bradley is always a story:

About two weeks before the end of spring training, the Cubs' prized free agent, Milton Bradley, looked ahead at the kind of season he expected with his new club.

''It's going to be fun. We're going to score a lot of runs and going to make a lot of people happy,'' he said. ''I might piss a couple people off every now and then, but it should make for an interesting season.''

At least you can't accuse him of false advertising -- even if he won't talk about when he might return from his groin injury.

After all, his first two weeks with his new club has been about as interesting and surprisingly eventful one hit, six starts and a groin injury can be. He's even making inroads already on ticking people off.

Who would've thought? Dusty wishes he still managed the Cubs:


Familiar faces in Chicago and recent National League Central antagonists, Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa, agree about one thing: The Cubs should be favorites to win the division.

"They should be," Baker said. "It doesn't mean they will, but they probably should be."

That's what happens when you win back-to-back division titles.

"Plus," added Baker, "they have the ability to go out and get what they need. And, they have [done that] the last couple of years."

Baker, whose Reds started a three-game Wrigley Field series Tuesday with a 7-2 loss , should know something about Cubs' payrolls from his managerial days here.

Baker's last Cubs' team in 2006 was paid about $94 million; the one successor Lou Piniella is managing this season about $140 million.

"That's about twice ours [with the Reds]," Baker said.

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gravedigger said:

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Oooh, I like how it shows a preview of your post as you type.

gravedigger said:

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this is a reply to a new post

Max Power said:

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I am posting a comment, replying to Mark. Let us see if this works.

Max Power said:

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maybe I didn't reply last time. let's try again.

Max Power said:

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That seemed to have worked.

Max Power said:

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I am trying to respond to comment three, but it seems to nest incorrectly.

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