With tonight's one-sided defeat at PNC Park to one of the losingest teams in the National League, the Cubs' season record against the NL Central's Three Stooges--the Astros, Reds, and Pirates--stands at 15-18. Not exactly the stuff champions are made of.

The offense generated just a single, meaningless run against Pittsburgh pitching (though it was nice to see Ronny Cedeno behind it), and Rich Hill looked lost from the outset.

On the positive side, Geovany Soto had two more hits and did something regular catcher Jason Kendall has only done four times in 51 opportunities as a Cub: thrown out a would-be base-stealer. Also, the Brewers lost at Cincinnati, underscoring the fact that they're as miscast as division leaders as our Cubs. St. Louis, currently leading 2-1 in the fifth inning at Arizona, will climb into a three-way tie for the top spot if they win.

As you may know by now, the pennant race isn't the only reason the Cardinals are going to be in the sports headlines.


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