Rich Hill, the tall, lanky Cubs pitcher with the face of a 16-year-old, quieted the Braves’ bats at Turner Field in eight solid innings of work, giving up only four hits and holding the NL East leaders scoreless. Hill now leads the majors in ERA with a paltry .041.

The Cubs managed to get the lead first and keep it all game for once thanks to solo homers by Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez. Ryan Theriot batted leadoff, getting two hits, scoring a run and stealing a base. Ryan Dempster pitched the ninth inning without making Cubs fans clutch their hearts, getting the save and allowing the North Siders a split in the two-game series.

Ronny Cedeno continued his pathetic offensive presence, failing to get a hit and lowering his batting average to .050. But the skinny infielder had an explanation.

“I didn’t get a hit tonight out of respect to [White Sox pitcher] Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter the other night,” Cedeno said. “As a guy who frequently strikes and grounds out, I have to hand it to him. If I face him this year, I’m not going to swing the bat. Who knows? I might draw a walk.”

Number of the Game: .143
Felix Pie’s batting average, making Cubs fans wonder if he’s lost one of his “five tools.”

heckler editorial staff