4/25 Extra bases

The Cubs pitching is set for the upcoming four-game series in Philadelphia, which starts Friday, but apparently the Phillies are still making decisions regarding games on Sunday and Monday. Chicago will start Paul Maholm on Friday followed on Saturday by Randy Wells, then Matt Garza on Sunday and Jeff Samardzija on Monday.

“They have a [2.93] ERA as a team,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the Phillies. “It’s going to be tough to score runs and put things together. That’s why they have one of the best pitching staffs over the last few years. Hopefully, getting into more of a hitters park, we can hit some home runs. You have to do that against those type of pitchers because it’s hard to string hits together. They don’t walk anybody either.”

The Cubs have been tested, having to play the Cardinals six times in the last 12 games.

“We knew going in, the first six weeks with the teams we were going to play and the pitching we were going to face would be a really tough stretch of games,” Sveum said. “That’s baseball. Every team is good, every team has more pitching than it had before. You see that by how runs are down in Major League Baseball.

“You take every game as if you’re playing the World Champions every day because baseball is baseball and you put your guard down and you’ll find yourself in a lot of trouble,” he said.

* Tony Campana has four stolen bases in four games. Sveum will keep him in the No. 2 spot for now because of Campana’s bunting ability. He can either bunt to advance a runner or bunt for a hit.

* You won’t see Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio making many trips to the mound. The Cubs are trying to have their catchers keep an eye on the pitchers.

“You’ll notice the catchers are going out more and doing that kind of thing,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “We’re leaving it up to them. When we need to, we’ll go out. For the most part, we leave it up to the catchers and see how that works out. So far, we’ve had some pretty good catchers meetings on the mound.”

* The Cubs posted walkoff wins over the Cardinals Monday and Tuesday night. The last time they had two consecutive walk off wins was last June 29-30 against the Giants.

– Carrie Muskat

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