Come To Think Of It: It's Only The Nationals, But I Like It

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IJuly 20, 2009

Mick Jagger once sang that "It's only rock-n-roll but I like it." While he was being tongue-in-cheek, since rock-n-roll has made the Rolling Stones' singer a multi-millionaire, there is nothing insincere about saying it's only the Nationals.

For the Washington Nationals are a lousy team, let's face it. But you know what? The Cubs just swept them.

And I like it.

Sure, the Nats are almost 40 games under .500. But for a disappointing team like our Cubs, any good news is welcome. And a four-game win streak certainly qualifies as good news.

Look, to be a contending team you not only need to beat the teams in your division,  you also need to beat up on the also-rans.

This was an opportunity for the Cubs to get fat, and so they lined up at the baseball buffet table and ate like pigs.

And a four-game sweep tastes mighty fine, no matter who you beat.

No, this doesn't mean that all of the Cubs woes have been solved.

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We still struggle mightily to hit with runners in scoring position. We have injuries to our starting pitchers, our catcher, and our third baseman needs shoulder surgery.

But hey, you have to start somewhere. And a win streak helps build confidence, which, as Bob Brenly pointed out during Sunday's broadcast, is so very critical.

Has anyone else noticed that Koyie Hill is doing a nice job filling in for injured Geo Soto?

He threw out the speedy Nyjer Morgan despite a good jump on Sunday. Although Hill doesn't hit very well, he seems to get hits at the right time.

And with no true backup catcher (Jake Fox should be considered "in emergency, break glass" only), Hill is being counted on to catch every inning of every game.

His is a story of triumph over potential disaster.

According to Wikipedia, "On October 16, 2007, he was using a table saw to cut wood for a window frame. Part of the wood got caught in the saw, and the saw grabbed and his hand was in the way. The saw severed his thumb and severely cut into the other four fingers into his hand. He saved them long enough to re-attach the fingers to his hand, and after many months of therapy, was able to regain motion in his fingers."

It's also nice to see Alfonso Soriano heating up.

Despite a dislocated pinkie finger suffered last Thursday, Soriano hit another homer on Sunday. A very streaky hitter who has been awful since May, he can carry a team on his shoulders when hot.

Jake Fox hit his first career home run against a lefty pitcher on Sunday, too.

So what's next for our troops? Well, they have a rough series against the defending world champs, followed by seven games at home against divisional foes.

The Cardinals embark on a seven-game road trip that also includes a visit to the Phillies. Then they come home for four against the NL-best Dodgers.

The Brewers, meanwhile, have a relatively soft schedule ahead of them.

Milwaukee faces Pittsburgh, Washington and San Diego 10 times over their next 13 games.

The Cubs don't face the Brewers again until they travel to Miller Park on September 14th for a four-game series.

In another odd twist of scheduling fate, the Cubs don't face the Cardinals again until they travel to St. Louis for a three-game series beginning on September 18th.

In the meantime, the Cubs will need to continue to improve upon their run production while hoping that the pitching holds up.

Ted Lilly is tentatively scheduled to bring his sore left knee to the mound Monday against Philly. I wonder how long he'll be able to go if he does start on Monday given the condition of the knee?

The team badly needs a seven inning-plus start from someone. Over the past four games, only Rich Harden has gone longer than five innings, and his was only a six inning stint to start the Nats series.

But as long as they keep winning, we'll take it. It may only be four games against the worst team in baseball, yet it sure beats losing, come to think of it.

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