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Pittsburgh vs. Chicago Cubs, 8 May 2007


Ian Snell (2-2, 2.31) vs. Ted Lilly (2-2, 2.82). The Cubs are moving now - they've won five in a row, they've moved from last place on April 26 all the way up to second, and they've allowed the fewest runs of any team in the National League. They're fifth in the majors in strikeouts per nine (the Pirates are 28th), ninth in K/BB (the Pirates are 25th) and fifth in WHIP (the Pirates are 23rd. And that's all without Carlos Zambrano firing on all cylinders - Big Z has a 5.80 ERA so far. Some of their other starters, like Lilly, are going to regress to the mean a little bit, but this is a very good pitching team.

On offense, the Cubs have been led by a resurgent Derrek Lee; after Lee, they've merely been mediocre, but mediocre-plus-a-hot-Derrek-Lee will still score plenty of runs to win. I picked Milwaukee to win the division before the season started, and the Brewers still look like the right choice because of their hot start, but the Cubs should stay with them all season.

Ian Snell, meanwhile, will try to rebound from his worst start of the year last Wednesday against the Cubs. You stink, Ian!

Here's the boxscore. It's 1-0 Bucs in the third, but there's no Doumit in the lineup. Grr. Come on, Tracy. Snell can't do it all himself.