Lefty Rich Hill pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Cubs Monday, striking out six and giving up just one earned run as his team beat the Atlanta Braves by a score of 8-3.

The Cubs finally found some offensive thunder, thanks to Derrek Lee and Jacque Jones, who each hit three-run homer. Lee also added a solo shot.

When asked how the Cubs managed to beat a veteran pitcher like John Smoltz, Lee said that he and his teammates were keenly aware that they were about to be swept.

“We just didn’t want to go winless on the series,” Lee said. “Getting swept again? That would have just made this season embarrassing. We can’t have that.”

The Cubs, 30 games under .500, are currently the worst team in the National League with a record of 57-87. Their longest winning streak all season is four games, and they are the only team in the majors not to have had a pitcher throw a complete game. Nothing embarrassing about any of that.

Number of the Day: 6
Games the Cubs will have to win in the final weeks to avoid a 100-loss season.

heckler editorial staff