You're hearing it here first (assuming you don't own a television, radio or telephone, have any Cub fan friends or frequent any Web sites besides this one):

Thanks to a 6-0 Cub win tonight in Cincinnati and a 6-3 San Diego defeat of the Brewers, the Chicago Cubs are going to the playoffs!

After a bumpy season that included a fistfight with his batterymate and a metaphorical brawl with the patrons of Wrigley Field, Carlos Zambrano was on the spot tonight, and he came through with seven shutout innings against a club that had already beaten him four times this season.

Kudos also to Alfonso Soriano, who slugged yet another lead-off home run and collected his team-record-tying 19th outfield assist of the season in the fourth inning, when he threw out the Reds' Joey Votto at home, preserving a 2-0 Cubs lead.

Jacque Jones, who was maligned by every Cub fan I know and every idiot who writes a Cub blog, including the idiot who writes this one, had three hits Friday night, among them a ringing double off the leftfield wall.

Bob Howry relieved Zambrano and pitched a scoreless eighth. Ryan Dempster pitched a scoreless ninth, and just ninety minutes later, after Trevor Hoffman had whiffed Rickie Weeks to close out the San Diego win at Milwaukee, they were popping corks and spraying reporters in the Cub clubhouse at Great American Ball Park.

Jason Marquis seemed quite focused on dousing whichever Cub teammate was being interviewed on by Gail Fischer on Comcast SportsNite. Must have been that he was jealous. No time to worry about Jason's hurt feelings now, however.

The Cubs have a pennant to go after.


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