Oooh…magic

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Magic is fun….but magic is hard to believe in unless you see the magician actually pull off the trick. The Cubs magic number to clinch is down to six.  I’ll be a lot more excited about it when I see them complete the trick officially.
Today was a beautiful step in that direction, for sure.  Ted Lilly…talk about tough acts to follow.  A day after Zambrano pulls off the first Cubs no-no since 36 years prior (no wait, let me rephrase that, just in case, and let’s say since 36 years earlier), Lilly had to take the mound and try to match the level of success Z accomplished not even 24 hours before.  And by match success, I mean simply get the ‘W’.  He did…and then some.  Lilly came out firing on all cylinders and no-hit the Astros even further, for a combined 15 innings when coupled with Z’s performance!  It started to get to the point where I felt bad for the Astros.  It didn’t quite get to that point, but it was close.
I don’t know what’s going to happen and where the Cubs will be come the end of October, when there’s no more baseball to played in ’08, but there’s no doubt that this season has been full of special moments no matter what.  Fukudome’s start, Soto’s year, Dempster’s return to the starter role, Wood’s surge to All-Star form, Theriot’s all around great play, the incredible diversity and contribution of Derosa, the surprise addition of Edmonds, the up and down year of Soriano, Zambrano’s no-hitter and today’s performance by Ted Lilly.  Lots of great moments, definitely worth the price of admission both financially and emotionally up until now.  HUGE expectations exist though for the final trick of the season.  The anticipation certainly has been exciting…have to wonder if they’ll be able to pull it off…
Great game today, unbelievable lead in the Central all things considered and the magic number sits there at six.  Let’s hope Dempster continues to saw opponents half and doesn’t begin a Cubs disappearing act with tomorrow’s start against the Brewers.  The series are just going to get bigger and bigger from here on out.  GO CUBS GO!!!
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No Stadium? No Problem. No Hitter.

Carlos Zambrano is the man.

Sore shoulder and all, back from a little time off, Zambrano returned triumphantly to the Cubs rotation by shutting down and shutting out the red-hot Houston Astros.  It was the first Cubs no-hitter in over 36 years and it comes at a great time for the Cubs.  
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It extends the Cubs lead in the Central to 7.5 games over Milwaukee and the beauty of this beast of a performance also exists in the location it took place in…Milwaukee.  Mind if we borrow your stadium quick to play a game against the Astros?  It won’t take long…only one over the minimum batters required to get the ‘W’, thanks.  One walk away from the perfect game along with 10 strikeouts along the way.  Cooled off the Astros and pushed back the Brew Crew in their own stadium.  Good times.
Alfonso Soriano kicked things off with his 49th career leadoff home run and it was all Zambrano needed.  A huge statement was made for sure.  I panicked a little bit as to how Ike was going to affect our pitchers and the performance/mindset/quality of play of each and every Cub.  Apparently, that was unnecessary.  So far so good.  Big thanks from Big Z to Derosa and Lee for their spectacular D in the field, I’m sure.  Congrats on a great game Z…Astros up again tomorrow.  Your turn Lilly.  GO CUBS GO!!!
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