Next Up: The Cubs are off today for the first time in 20 days after posting a 9-11 record in that stretch. If any team needed a break to regroup, its this one. The Cubs start a 3 game series at home against the Cincinatti Reds on Tuesday.
What's New: The Cubs activated INF-OF Daryle Ward from the 15-day DL on Sunday and placed OF Cliff Floyd on the bereavement list. Cliff was at the bedside of his father, Cornelius, Sunday at the time of his passing. Our condolences go out to Cliff and his family, and we hope to see him back soon.
Mark Derosa is batting .313 in 62 games since June 1. After all of the talk about Derosa not living up to his contract early in the season, he has been able to turn things around nicely and contribute to the Cubs playoff run.
Mike Fontenot hit .448 against the Rockies this season. It is too bad the Cubs were not able to capitalize on his stellar play.
The Cubs had nine hits, all singles, in the 6-3 loss on Sunday. I know that this singles-happy shift is refreshing, but the Cubs will have to find some power soon if they hope to make the playoffs. With Soriano on the DL and Aramis hurting, the Cubs are going to have to look somewhere for some power (more on that tomorrow).
Recently, the Cubs claimed Scott Podsednik off of the White Sox waivers. It seems though that Jim Hendry is satisfied with the team that is taking the field at present, and will make no effort to offer sufficient compensation to Ken Williams' crew. Shannon Stewart would be a much better option (and was also claimed by the Cubs from the A's), but it seems that Oakland is asking for too much compensation.
Scouting the News: The Tribune has two articles today that are of interest. First, the report on Cliff Floyd leaving the team for a few days. Second, a recap of yesterday's game that bashes Kerry Wood for imploding in a key situation. I think Paul Sullivan from the Trib jumping on Wood a little prematurely, as it will take some time for pitcher to regain his command of the strike-zone during clutch situations. If we are still talking about this in September, then go after him.
Here is an article from the Sun Times that is a bit more sympathetic to Wood learning his new role with the Cubs.
The Cubs are not upset where they stand in the Central, according to Piniella. Even though the cubs have lost 11 of 20, they made up 1 1/2 games on the Brewers in the process. That may be fine, but they better not be content to tread water this week at home.