8/26 Staying focused

Despite the fact that the Cardinals have a nine-game lead in the Central, and seem to never lose, the Cubs feel they’re still in the race.

“I think everybody in the clubhouse, we still believe we’re in it,” pitcher Rich Harden said after Wednesday’s 9-4 win over the Nationals. “Nobody’s down. You have to go with that mindset. We’ve got to win some games. You can’t get too ahead of yourself, ‘We’ve got to win how many in a row.’ I think we have to have an approach of taking it on a daily basis and win that game. The loss [Tuesday] was tough, but we came back today and played well and we can still win the series by winning [Thursday]. I think if you plan on winning the series, we’ll be in a pretty good position by the end of the season.”

Harden posted his 14th quality start, which matches his season total from 2008. His career high is 18 set in 2004. He has a 3-1 record and 1.80 ERA in his last seven starts. So far, the right-hander has struck out 143; he fanned 181 last season.

— Carrie Muskat


I seriously doubt Bradley thinks they’re still in it given the pass he took on that question when asked a couple of days ago, but I like a guy who gives his teammates the benefit of the doubt.

While I wish we’d gotten another 7 innings from him last night, it’s awful nice to see the stats adding up again for Harden. The Cubs’ strength & conditioning staff really need to be commended for keeping him good to go, and I’m glad he’s buying into whatever program they’ve got him on. It always felt like he was in the hands of witch doctors back in Oakland!

That’s a good call myrmlb, we tend to focus on the negatives of this year such as HENDRY, Soriano, Bradley, Miles…yikes, too many to list but you are correct, Harden has been relativley healthy and if the conditioning staff has anything to do with it at least some people in the organization are earning their pay. It will be interesting to see Hendry handle Harden after the season is over, will he attempt to re-sign him? Or will he be forced to curtail ANY new spending because of the bone-headed contracts he gave to Soriano, Bradley and Fukodome? … a lot of money for little production.

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