If it weren't for those insufferable Diamondbacks, who play in the NL West and therefore should only get to count every other win, the Chicago Cubs would be our new overlords. As it is the Northsiders have a 24-16 record after their 8-5 win over the Padres on Wednesday, one game worse than Arizona's 25-15. And now it is time on MLB Closer to talk of Ted Lilly.
Lilly struck out 11 over six innings for his third straight win and Alfonso Soriano had his second leadoff homer in as many nights. And it's starting to look like the Cubs can do this thing. Win a World Series, that is. Which team is demonstrably better? Soriano and Geovany Soto had three RBI each and Lilly (4-4) allowed four runs and six hits, throwing 102 pitches. Soriano is 10-for-19 over the past five games.
Oh, and Jim Edmonds starts for Chicago today. And Felix Pie is sent to the minors. No Pie for you!
• Meanwhile, In Ohio ... . The Indians are alone in first place after another stellar pitching performance, this one by C.C. "Bridge To" Sabathia, extended Cleveland's scoreless streak by starters to 43 1/3 innings. C.C. threw a five-hitter and struck out 11 in the Indians' major league-leading seventh shutout, a 2-0 victory over the Athletics. Which all begs the question; if Eric Wedge never went to his bullpen, wouldn't the scoreless streak be even longer?
• Welcome Back, Glavinator. Tom Glavine earned his first win for Atlanta in six seasons, going 5 2/3 innings as the Braves beat the Phillies 8-6. Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson each had solo homers for Atlanta, and Chase Utley had his customary homer for the Phillies.
• Tigers Lose Again. Your Luke Hochevar Update.
• Wizard Cat Defensive Play Of The Day. Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox. Manny is independent, self-absorbed and enjoys tuna, just like Wizard Cat. So it is no surprise that the outfielder clawed his way to the top of the fence and paused, feline-like, to give a fan a high five before throwing the ball to the infield to complete a double play against the Orioles. Wizard Cat gives this play: Five wands.
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