Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cubs will face Dbacks

CINCINNATI -- The Cubs are headed west.
The Cubs will open the National League Division Series on Wednesday against the NL West winners, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Carlos Zambrano (18-13, 3.95 ERA) will start Game 1 for the Cubs against Arizona's Brandon Webb (18-10, 3.01 ERA), with Ted Lilly (15-8, 3.86 ERA) going in Game 2 on Thursday. The best-of-five series will shift to Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Oct. 6 and Game 4, if necessary, on Oct. 7.
The Cubs entered Sunday's regular-season finale not knowing who they would be playing because of the complicated Wild Card scenarios. All they had to do was wait and see if the Phillies lost, or the Mets lost or the San Diego Padres won. If one of those three things happened, the Cubs were headed to Arizona. The Florida Marlins obliged, and beat the Mets, 8-1.
This is the Cubs' first trip to the postseason since they won the division in 2003. That team was five outs away from reaching the World Series, when the Marlins rallied to take the NL Championship Series.
This is a new team, with a new look and new manager Lou Piniella.
"We've got as good a chance as anybody else," Piniella said. "We're going to have to pitch well, and we're going to have to get some timely hitting. We're built for the short term as well as the long term.
"We've got a veteran team here, basically, and we've got some pitchers in the rotation who can keep you in ballgames, and we have a strong bullpen to close things out," he said. "Really, what it amounts to is how well we hit."

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