With a division lead of 5 games, a record that now stands a dizzying 31 games above .500, a .614 winning percentage that's higher than the season-ending number for any Cub team since 1945, and a 98.89% chance of making the playoffs (according to Baseball Prospectus's Playoff Odds Report), the Cubs are making me feel...do I dare use the word?...hopeful.
On the other hand, consider this thought which crossed my mind as I was watching tonight's rout:
If the Brewers had simply managed a split of their big four-game series with the Cubs several weeks ago in Milwaukee instead of spitting the bit in all four contests, the Cubs' record would be 79-52, the Brewers' record would be just one game worse at 78-53, and everyone in the Cub-loving universe would be even more obsessed with the moment-by-moment reports from MLB.com Gameday than we already are.
No spine-tingling drama coming out of Pittsburgh tonight, however, as Ted Lilly shut down the Pirates while Lee, Edmonds, and Fukudome—two of whom, Edmonds and Fukudome, have been non-contributors this month while Lee has been so-so at best—conspired to bash the Pirates' brains in. The trio went a combined 9-for-13 with four doubles, a triple, 4 runs scored, and 6 RBI. Lilly, meanwhile, is now 13-7, has won 6 of his last 7, and has delivered Quality Starts in 9 of his last 11 outings.
And if you're wondering how the late, great Harry Caray might have reacted to all this, you don't have to wonder—just hear what he has to say following every Cub game the rest of the season at 1908worldchampions.com.