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Come to Think of It...Cubs-Phillies: The Difference Is Hittability

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IJuly 22, 2009

Similar to how that beer commercial talks about the difference being "drinkability," the main difference between the Cubs and the defending champion Phils is "hittability."

Yes, there are other differences between the two teams. The Phillies have much more team speed, for example. And they are very successful in picking the right time to steal.

In fact, their stolen base percentage is the best in the National League at 79 percent. The Cubs are last in the NL at just 60 percent.

But the main difference, to me, is the offensive firepower that the Fightin' bring to the table. And we saw it on display all too painfully in the 13th inning when Jayson Werth hit a walk-off homer to beat the Cubs 4-1 on Tuesday night.

You just knew that a homer would somehow decide this game. And if anyone is going to hit a home run, the odds say it was going to be Philly.

The Phillies lead the league with 130 home runs. They have four players with 20 or more long balls.

But they are not one-dimensional.

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They are third in OBP; sixth in batting average; first in slugging and OPS. Need I continue?

Let's see...first in RBI, third in doubles, and perhaps most importantly, they lead the league in runs scored.

Meanwhile, the Cubs rank 13th in runs and 12th in OBP. These were two areas which they excelled in last year.

The pitching has generally been solid for the Cubbies. In fact, their team ERA is much better than the Phils. Hitters are batting a full 20 points higher against Phillies pitching than Cubs pitching.

Control has hurt the Cubs throughout the year. But it's really been the lack of offense that has plagued the team this year.

What a difference a year makes.

Let's face it, who scares opposing pitchers in the Cubs everyday lineup? Derrek Lee, maybe. Yet the Phillies have four or five hitters that scare the crap out of a pitcher.

Aramis Ramirez is a trooper for coming back when he easily could have hung up the spikes and had his surgery now, similar to what impending free agent Adrian Beltre did in Seattle.

But "A-Ram" looks like he won't be ready to hit for power until he gets that shoulder fixed.

While Lou Piniella continues to work with Milton Bradley on his hitting, we can only hope that Alfonso Soriano continues to hit the ball. And a few homers would be nice as well.

At least we got him out of the lead-off role. Unfortunately, our best lead-off hitter may be playing in Iowa. A very small sample, to be sure, but there was simply no room for Sam Fuld.

I know it's the defending champs and they are on a roll, having won 10 in a row, but two runs in 22 innings just won't cut it.

Eventually someone is going to start winning consistently in our division, so we better get going. Let's hope we can improve on that hittability, come to think of it.