The Cubs are up against the hottest last-place team in baseball, trailing the Giants 1-0 in the seventh inning as I write this.
Tonight's matchup, with Jason Marquis facing off against star-in-the-making Tim Lincecum, looked problematic from the moment it first graced the Probable Pitchers list. Wednesday night, the Cubs and Rich Hill draw Barry Zito, coming off seven, one-hit innings against the Marlins; Thursday it's Zambrano against Matt Cain, who may be the game's most talented 5-13 starter. All in all, it could be a challenging series. (As opposed to next weekend's visit to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks, which will most certainly be a trial.)
Speaking of Rich Hill, John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions appeared on this afternoon's Mike Murphy Show on WSCR, pointing out that if Hill had received the same run support as his fellow Cub starters, his record might easily be 10-4 instead of 7-7. (The numbers I turned up at Baseball Prospectus were less dazzling; BP puts Hill's "expected win-loss record" at 10-7.)
In any case, hearing Dewan talk made me feel a little bit better about Hill's season, just as seeing that the Cubs continue to have the division's best Pythagorean Record--a full six games better than the Milwaukees--makes me feel like it's only a matter of time before they seize control of the NL Central for good.
I sure wish somebody would point that out to the Brewers and Cardinals.