excluding their head-to-head games, the cubs and cardinals are both .500 teams --- cubs 56-56, cards 55-55. the cubs lead the head-to-head series by 3 games, 6 wins to 3, and that advantage accounts for their entire margin in the standings over st louis --- as well as their margin over .500 and, correspondingly, the cards' margin under. the teams play each other 6 more times; st louis needs to win 5 of them to take the season series. the way things are going, those outcomes may be decisive.
or maybe not.
no complaint about yesterday's game --- both teams played good defense, and both pitching staffs managed to locate most of their pitches within angel hernandez's fitful strike zone. the cardinal hitters were inordinately impatient --- didn't take a single called strike in the 1st inning, and only 2 in the 2d; in the 8th and 9th innings, they didn't take a single one --- saw 14 strikes in those two innings and swung at every one of'm. even david eckstein went up there hacking yesterday; he only took one called strike all day. saw 13 strikes in his 4 at-bats; swung at 12.
of interest elsewhere: