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News » Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2008-09-22

Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2008-09-22

Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2008-09-22
Now that the Cubs have clinched the NL Central, manager Lou Piniella and his coaching staff will use the upcoming week to rest players and set the playoff pitching rotation.

The Cubs used a lineup of backups in Sunday's 5-1 victory over the Cardinals. However, Piniella said he's mindful that the Mets and Brewers are still fighting for playoff spots and that he'll field representative lineups.

More interesting will be the rotation. Two weeks ago, Piniella set his rotation for the rest of the regular season. With Rich Harden set to pitch the regular-season finale at Milwaukee, the playoff rotation looked to be Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster, followed by Harden in a possible fourth game.

That's all subject to change now. Piniella remains miffed that Zambrano showed disrespect Friday when he tried to walk off the mound as Piniella came out to remove him from the game. Piniella ordered Zambrano back on the mound until he got there.

On top of that, both Lilly and Dempster have come up big down the stretch, with Lilly recording a career-best 16 wins so far and Dempster at 17, also a career best. With the playoffs not opening until Wednesday, Oct. 1, Piniella has time to arrange things the way he likes.

CUBS 5, CARDINALS 1: RHP Ryan Dempster extended his single-season career best in wins by earning his 17th. He worked five innings, giving up six hits and the only St. Louis run. RHPs Jeff Samardzija and Chad Gaudin each earned a hold, with RHPs Randy Wells and Bob Howry finishing. Rookie 3B Casey McGehee drove in two as manager Lou Piniella rested his regulars one day after the Cubs clinched the NL Central. The Cubs closed out their regular-season home season with a 55-26 record.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: September 22, 2008

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