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