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Beware The Tempest That Is The Chicago Cubs

Hey, thanks for reviving me; those smelling salts really did the trick. If you hadn't come along when you did, I would have missed my bus. It's just that something I heard a few minutes ago really shocked me, and I went down like a carp. Passed right out. Yep, just two little sentences, uttered in the same paragraph: "The hottest team in baseball," and "Chicago Cubs." Whoa, it still doesn't sound right ... feeling dizzy. I just need to lie down for a while

Carlos Zambrano pitched five shutout innings to become the National League's first 12-game winner, and Koyie Hill had five RBI to lead Chicago past San Francisco 12-1, the Cubs' fifth win in six games and 17th in 22 overall. Chicago is now 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Brewers in the NL Central. Not unexpectedly, Cubs blogs are going a little nuts right now, especially since Barry Bonds is expected back in the lineup for today's game with the Giants and it's expected to rain. The Cubs and great timing have not been on speaking terms in recent decades (centuries?), so if it indeed rains today, I'll take it as a sign that the times, they are a changin'.


Not Plane Nor Bird Nor Even Frog ... And now if you'll look to your right, you'll see the New York Yankees. Yes, thought extinct in the wild until just last week, the Yankees are back, Alex Rodriguez's go-ahead double in the seventh fueling a 6-1 win over Toronto on Wednesday. Roger Clemens pitched six innings to get the win, New York's 11th in the past 14 games. The Yankees are seven games behind front-running Boston in the East, the closest they've been since May 12.

Hearing Footsteps? The Red Sox have been in first place for 95 straight days and have the biggest lead in any of baseball's six divisions, but probably should have been assessed two losses after the Royals beat them 6-5 on Wednesday. Boston has lost seven of its past 10 after dropping two of three to the Royals, who are last in the AL Central.

Arrrrr! Brad Hawpe and Todd Helton each had two-run homers to lead the Rockies over the Pirates 5-3. Pittsburgh has lost six straight.

Ethier Way Is Fine With Me. The Dodgers are freaking hot as well, having won five of six since the All-Star break after a 5-4 victory over the Phillies. Andre Ethier's three-run homer led the way for L.A.

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