8/31 Early extra bases
* The Cubs are 10-15 in 25 games against the NL West. They were swept in three California series vs. the Giants, Dodgers and Padres, and also swept in Arizona. Chicago is 10-2 against the NL West at Wrigley Field, and 0-13 on the road.
* Luis Valbuena’s .311 batting average (19-for-61) and .440 on-base percentage in August both lead the club, while Alfonso Soriano’s 18 RBIs this month are tops on the team. Carlos Marmol has recorded a 1.00 ERA (1 ER/9 IP) in nine relief appearances this month.
* The Cubs are 7-21 in August. The .250 winning percentage is their lowest in August since going 6-24 (.200) in August of 1999.
* Friday’s game is the second time in its last 22 games dating to Aug. 9 that the Cubs will face a lefty start on the mound.
— Carrie Muskat