Game 145 Thread / Cubs @ Cardinals (2 of 3)
|SP||*Ted Lilly||SP||Braden Looper|
|13-9, 4.43, 161 K, 60 BB, 176.2 IP||12-11, 4.09, 87 K, 41 BB, 174 IP|
|LF||Alfonso Soriano||SS||Cesar Izturis|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||3B||#Felipe Lopez|
|1B||Derrek Lee||1B||Albert Pujols|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||RF||Ryan Ludwick|
|C||Geovany Soto||C||Yadier Molina|
|RF||*Kosuke Fukudome||LF||Josh Phelps|
|2B||Mark DeRosa||2B||*Adam Kennedy|
|CF||*Felix Pie||P||Braden Looper|
|P||*Ted Lilly||CF||*Skip Schumaker|
With the NL Central race now firmly under his team's control, Cubs manager Lou Piniella sounds like a guy who is prepared to enjoy a low-stress wind-down to his team's regular season before he has to deal with the high drama of the National League playoffs.
"After that little rough patch on the last homestand, it's good to see us clicking again," Piniella said following Tuesday night's one-sided win against the Cardinals. "We're playing like we expect to win and doing the things that got us here. It's fun to watch this club play right now."
By winning the first four games of the team's current, ten-day, nine-game, three-city road trip while the Brewers have faltered at home, the Cubs have been able to build up a 7 1/2-game lead on Ned Yost's club, a margin that has the Brewers concentrating on holding off the Phillies for the WIld Card and abandoning any thoughts of catching the Cubs in the Central.
Ryan Dempster was commanding in last night's 11-1 victory over the Cards' Kyle Lohse, but Kosuke Fukudome and Jim Edmonds—a combined 5-for-8 with 2 HR and 7 RBI—were responsible for the big fireworks. The game, in which the Cubs built an early 3-0 advantage then piled onto their lead throughout the evening, was a contrast to Sunday's unexpectedly exciting win over the Reds, when Ronny Cedeno triggered a game-ending 6-3 double-play to put down a Cincy rally.
As Piniella said after last night's ten-run victory...
"A win is a win, but after that close call on Sunday, it's great to have a ballgame where we can give some of the regulars a break. Plus, you've got to remember, I'm an old man. Games like this one are a lot better for my blood pressure."