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Cubs Sat Sep 04 2010

Cubs Beat Mets 5-3; Win 2nd Consecutive Series

The Cubs continued to play out the stretch this afternoon against a familiar foe in the New York Mets. Today's 5-3 victory earned them their second series win in a row and gives them an opportunity to go for the sweep tomorrow. They improve Interim Manager Mike Quade's record to 8-3 since taking over for Lou Piniella almost two weeks ago.

Carlos Zambrano continued his string of successful outings this afternoon.Zambrano pitched seven strong innings which included four hits, two earned runs and eight strikeouts. Since returning to the rotation Aug. 9, he is 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA (eight earned runs, 36 1/3 innings) in his past six starts. This may increase his trade value if they are looking to move him during the offseason.

Geovany Soto got the Cubs on the board with a RBI double in the second inning. An Xavier Nady RBI sac fly would give them a two nothing lead in the third. Aramis Ramirez hit his 21st home run of the season in the seventh to secure the victory.

The win is seemingly meaningless. Being 20 games out of first place in September makes it hard to get excited about a solid win like today's. They are currently seven games away from being officially eliminated from contention for 2010. Thus it becomes as it has been so many times in the lives of many long-suffering Cubs fans, wait until next year. What exactly will next year bring? There are many questions that need to be answered before the Cubs can even begin to consider themselves a contender.

First and foremost is who is managing this team ? A number of candidates are out there, but will Jim Hendry pick the right one ? A decision has to be made on what to do with Carlos Zambrano. He's pitched well since returning to the rotation and it would be hard to argue not to keep him. Or, do you try and trade him based on the small sample size of success he has had recently? Who is playing first base next year? I can go on, but you get the point.

Jim Hendry has been stated saying that the Cubs are only four moves away from being a contender next year. I can think of three moves. A new manager, a first baseman and a bona fide number one starter. There are 26 games remaining in the season. All that can be done now is just keep winning games.

They go for the sweep tomorrow as Ryan Dempster (12-9, 3.71 ERA) takes on the Mets John Niese (8-7, 3.70 ERA). Game time is 1:20 p.m. CT. The game can be seen on WGN TV and heard on WGN Radio 720 AM.

 
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