It may only be the Pittsburgh Pirates, but you will not hear any of the Cubs complain. The North-Siders powered their way to three straight wins and gained half a game on both the Cardinals and Brewers, who had the day off.
Kosuke Fukudome was entered back into the starting lineup after a career first pinch-hit homer last night. With a man on third in the second inning Kosuke cracked a deep drive for the sacrifice which would be the first of a big night. Fukudome would add a two-run single to left in the fifth, and to cap it off he roped an RBI double in the ninth. Fukudome is definitely starting to show progress with his adjustments and is looking more like that lethal left-handed threat he was in the first half.
Aramis Ramirez returned to haunt his former ball team clubbing a three-run shot in the fifth and accumulating four RBIs on the night. Ramirez entered the ball game batting .313 against the Pittsburg Pirates: Aramis continues to see the ball very well at the roomy-PNC park.
Jim Edmonds looked great on the bases tonight which should be incredibly encouraging for the Cubs. Jimmy's defense has been impressively characteristic and his bat has really come through when needed; but a nagging left knee injury has caused for some concern throughout the season.
Not tonight. Edmonds made a statement in his first at bat smoking a ball to deep center, Edmonds would gallop 270 sweet non-painful feet to third base which would be the start of a three hit performance. With Edmondo's legs fresh, watch for him to play a huge part in October.
Although the 17 hit massacre was impressive, the pitching really opened some eyes. Ted Lilly gave up only two runs over seven-innings, and Kerry Wood shut out the ninth with only thirteen pitches, nine of them being strikes.
Cubs have been dominant in every category recently; let's hope they can continue at this torrid pace.