A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Sunday

Cardinals vs. Cubs
Hero du Jour

I think Kevin Gregg is the great story of last night's game. But first, I have to discuss Alfonso Soriano.  He finally ended his home run drought, after 2,732  games.  The one question I have is, after dislocating his pinky on Thursday night, has it magically healed in some Henry Rowengartneresque way? Will he hit a home run every time his bat makes contact with the ball?

"We'll dislocate a finger a week if he gives us a three-run homer," Piniella joked.

After being apprised of Piniella's comment, Soriano laughed.

"I feel very comfortable at the plate now," he said. "I had a bad first half, and I hope every bad moment I had in the first half stays in the first half."

The writers must've all been tight on deadline, as none of them really go into what Groggles did.  I was listening to the bottom of the 8th and the 9th on my way home from work last night, and Pat said that it had to be his most impressive save of the year. I agree. Getting out of the jam in the 8th and throwing a 1-2-3 9th... thanks Groggles!

Along those same lines, we can no longer use the term pigpen, as the bullpen has greatly improved over the last two months:

The Cubs' bullpen ranked 15th out of 16 National League teams on May 12, new closer Kevin Gregg was getting booed at Wrigley Field and manager Lou Piniella was getting antsy.

But things began to improve when Piniella began using Angel Guzman in more late-inning pressure situations in mid-May, and replaced demoted left-hander Neal Cotts in favor of starter Sean Marshall in early June.

The revamped pen entered Saturday's game ranked sixth in the NL with a 3.79 ERA, an improvement over last year's 4.10, which ranked eighth.

And fear not, Ted Lilly will pitch on Monday. My guess? He was never hurt at all, but had to do some secret CIA mission over the weekend.

''He said he could have pitched today if he had to,'' manager Lou Piniella said before Saturday's game, which Lilly originally had been scheduled to start. ''So that's a good sign for us.''

Lilly, who has been bothered off and on since May by discomfort on the inside part of the knee, said he can't pinpoint where the problem started. An MRI exam revealed nothing serious enough to prevent him from pitching through the occasional flareup.

And the team won't rush Dempster back:

Right-hander Ryan Dempster, on the disabled list with a fractured right big toe, threw a bullpen session Saturday for the first time since the injury -- a key test. But the Cubs won't have a clear timetable on his return until he has another X-ray. That's after this two-city road trip, at the earliest.




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7 Comments

Umbra said:

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What an excellent way to start out the 2nd half. Why can't the Cubs play the Nationals all the time?

canopygrl said:

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Ohh that would be great, then at least I could spend less watching them play! Nats give you a free game when you get four, tickets are cheaper and I can mootch off Mom and Dad for a place to flop.

JulieDiCaro said:

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We're unveiling a new honor today: The LOHO "Butt" of the Game. No, we're not talking about Rich Harden's most attrative asset, we're looking for the player who did the most to help us give away the game.

Thanks to Ed from CubsInHaiku, I'm in the process of securing an AWESOME sponsor.

Maim said:

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I hope we keep not having to decide who the "Butt" who gave away the game is. I like all this "winning" stuff. It's neat.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Well, you can have someone who TRIES to give away the game, but doesn't succeed. For example, I think both Theriot and Bradley had a shot at "butt of the game" last night.

Maim said:

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I missed everything after the 4th (I think) inning.

I normally can really enjoy a bar without a TV, but not when the stupid Nationals have a Saturday game at night when I'm supposed to be bartending.

jtbwriter said:

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Cubs win! Cubs win!

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