Game #72 Preview: Cubs (31-40) @ Mariners (30-41)
In the time it took John Isner to beat Nicolas Mahut, the Cubs scored once, lost twice, fanned 17 times while walking three times, dropped nine games behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals, fell a season-worst nine games below .500, and went 1-for-16 with RISP. Oh, yeah—that one hit was a double by Alfonso Soriano which came with Geovany Soto on second base but only got Soto as far as third.
Ted Lilly starts today in place of Carlos Silva (tight hamstring) as the Cubs try to avoid being party to the longest Mariners winning streak (7 games) since July of '07. Lilly, who got tatooed last time out by the Angels, is opposed by King Felix Hernandez, who is 10-4, 2.89 in 18 lifetime starts against NL clubs and has given up two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.
In other words, just what the doctor didn't order.
Here's the Cubs lineup vs. Hernandez (5-5, 3.39; first-ever appearance vs. Cubs): Fukudome 9, Theriot 4, Byrd DH, Lee 3, Colvin 8, Nady 7, Fontenot 6, Tracy 5, Hill 2.
Finally, if you didn't get a chance to see the excruciating way the Dodgers lost to the Angels last night, take a look right here, and check out FanGraphs' analysis right here. Pretty Cubbery stuff, down to the fact that former Cub Reed Johnson played a central role.