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Three home runs by Aramis Ramirez as the Cubs beat the Reds 5-4 on Thursday night. Blog reportage from Al Yellon.

The Cubs (80-64) are now one game behind the Giants (82-65) in the NL wildcard race. San Francisco beat the Brewers 4-zip. Bonds, despite going 3 for 3, is still 699 not out. Here's an account of Wednesday night's game from a Brewers' perspective (sort of).

Interesting stat highlighted on today: Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners has 233 hits so far this season. The record is 257, set by George Sisler of the St Louis Browns in 1920. Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine outlines some other obscure records that deserve breaking.

The Frisco Rough Riders are one game away from the Texas League title after beating the Round Rock Express 7-3 at the Dell Diamond on Thursday night. I listened to some of this game online, special guest was Cat Osterman from the US gold medal-winning olympic softball team. She threw out the first pitch, and the commentator while I was listening expressed surprise that she did the pitch overarm, and not an underarm softball pitch. Yes, girls can pitch just like the boys, you know...

Back to the Cubs, and the Lansing Lugnuts are changing camps! They will be a Toronto affiliate next year. The Lugnuts were eliminated in the Midwest League playoffs this season. The Peoria Chiefs will be shifting allegiance from the Cards to the Cubs in 2005.

Sigh.. let's sing the Lugnuts song one more time!

The Albuquerque Isotopes ended their second year in the Pacific Coast League with a 67-77 record, stone motherless in Central Division, in fact. Olympic gold-medal Sandvolleyballer Misty May threw the first pitch on August 27. The Isotopes catcher (now recalled by the Marlins), Matt Treanor, is her fiancee.

Dropping in on the Isotopes website means that I am now aware of the Native American All-Star Tournament at Isotopes Park this Saturday and Sunday. Northern Pueblos, Southern Pueblos, Gallup, Sliprock. Who do I follow? I'll do a wrap on this next week.

This post by Daigo Fujiwara to the Christian Science Monitor's "We're Just Fans" sportsblog as a background to the Japanese industrial dispute. I'll follow up in my next blather.

Finally, Frank Francisco is currently number 8 on the Yahoo! Buzz Sports Index.

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