Cincinnati (51-62) at Chicago (54-59)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 2:20 pm EDT Wed Aug 10, 2005
  • TV: CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Chicago Cubs have quite possibly played themselves out of the NL wild-card race—and they know it.

The Cubs will try to end a seven-game losing streak when they conclude their three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.

Mark Prior struck out a season-high 11, Nomar Garciaparra hit his first home run and Corey Patterson returned after a monthlong stint at Triple-A on Tuesday, but the Cubs still lost 8-3.

“We need to win ballgames, that’s pretty obvious,” Prior said. “We haven’t done that in a week. We need to win A ballgame.”

The Cubs, who are 6 1/2 games behind Houston in the NL wild-card race, are hitting .233 and have scored just 20 runs during their most recent slide. Chicago’s pitching staff has a 5.83 ERA in that time.

“We don’t need to convince (media and fans) we’re still in it,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “We have to convince ourselves before we can convince anybody. We’ve got a big game tomorrow and the St. Louis Cardinals coming, so we certainly need to win this game tomorrow.”

Even NL MVP candidate Derrek Lee is struggling, batting just .125 (2-for-16) over his last four games.

The Reds have been going in the opposite direction, winning three of four.

“They’re kind of rolling through a little funk right now and we’re playing well,” said Aaron Harang, Tuesday’s winning pitcher. “The team is putting some runs on the board and playing good defense behind the starters.”

Ken Griffey Jr. is 5-for-13 (.385) over his last three games, with home runs on Monday and Tuesday.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Milton LAD vs. R. Hill Bos
8-15 Record 0-2
6.47 ERA 9.13
123 K 21
52 BB 17
1.55 WHIP 1.77