Felix Pie is apparently the key to the Cubs success as well as Soriano's. With Pie in the lineup the Cubs are 16-8. Pie had another very successful night at the plate on Friday in Atlanta as he went two for four with two runs scored, three runs batted in and a stolen base. Pie is playing with a lot of confidence and taking full advantage of batting in between Soriano and Derrek Lee. The word out of the Cubs camp is that Pie is in the lineup to stay and this would be the time to pick him up if he is still available. Pie is now batting .286 with two homeruns, 12 runs batted in through 24 games played this season.
Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants had his second consecutive stinker on the mound on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics. Lincecum was making an impressive assault on the National League in this his debut season making four out of five starts quality starts but he has been knocked around the park in his last two outings suggesting that some advanced scout has picked up on something. Lincecum has allowed nine earned runs in his last 12 innings having had allowed only 12 runs in his first 33.1 innings pitched. The smart move would be to remove Lincecum from your lineup until he gets this thing figured out.
Josh Willingham of the Florida Marlins had a big night on Friday. Willingham helped lead a 14 run assault on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays by going three for five with three runs batted in. Willingham also scored two runs and walked once. Willingham has been putting together a solid season, proving that he is good for around four homeruns and 20 runs batted in per month. The Marlins outfielder is on pace to approach his 2006 homerun total of 26 but easily pass his 2006 RBI total of 74 with a current pace to drive in 114.
You better believe that Edgar Renteria of the Atlanta Braves will be glad that there won't be a lefty on the mound with a big curveball today. Renteria went zero for six with four strikeouts in the last two days against Rich Hill and Shawn Marshall and he looked horrible along the way. Renteria is having a pretty good year (.316 8 HR 29 RBI) but he has had a really bad last two days and is zero for his last 13 dating back to June 5th.
Shawn Marshall of the Chicago Cubs has been very good this season since rejoining the big league team on May 23rd. Marshall has made four quality starts in as many starts, his earned run average is 2.08, he has held opponents to a WHIP of 1.04 and he is sitting them down 9 K/9. Marshall is only 2-2 but his first two starts came during that dreadful stretch for the Cubs. Marshall is a very solid starter right now.