Gotta love those Cubbies. Winning these last two against the Yanks, allowing the Sox to vault back into first place. The only bad thing about Roger’s delay in securing win # 300 on Saturday, as pointed out on the board over the weekend, is now that he is so close to 4000 strikeouts, he’s likely to reach that milestone and the 300 wins in the same game, this week at Yankee stadium, which will make the event all that much more historic. Blah. But Steve Buckley is quick to rush to Roger’s defense. In one of the more foolish passages he’s ever written, (and that is saying a lot…) Buckley strikes back at those who are enjoying Roger’s bout of futility:

Have we all lost our minds? In the rush to beat up on Clemens, it has been conveniently forgotten that he is 40 years old, a modern-day marvel with a work ethic that would send a lot of 20-year-olds crawling to the medic's table for treatment. But just as Clemens' stamina has been a blessing, it now becomes a curse: If he's in such good shape, goes the illogic, why can't he go nine innings?

Answer: The magic that is Clemens is his ability to start games, not finish them. Two seasons ago, turning 39 in August, Clemens went 20-3, winning his sixth Cy Young Award. Complete games? He didn't have any. Last year, while fashioning a 13-6 record, he had no complete games.

Lets all remember this, the next time the local scribes pile on Pedro for not spinning complete games, as Shaughnessy did a few weeks ago. After all, his skill is in starting games, not finishing them…

Yesterday’s win by the Sox was much needed, according to Michael Silverman. It allowed them to salvage a 5-7 record on the road trip after starting 1-5. And yes, it was Millar time, in Milwaukee. Sean McAdam looks at the win and notes the encouraging signs within from Lowe, Mendoza and the hitting. Bob Hohler has more on the heroes of the day, in Lowe and Millar. David Heuschkel also looks at Millar’s big day, and exposes Brewers manager Ned Yost’s folly in walking Manny to get to Millar. Karen Guregian looks at how the trade of Shea and subsequent increased at-bats are benefiting Millar. John Casper Jr has a look at the importance of Derek Lowe’s start yesterday. It’s well documented that Manny is one of my “binky’s” (as much as I’m tired of that word. Kevin Gray had a very nice feature on Manny in yesterday’s edition of the Union Leader. Guregian has a second article, this time on the blister that ended Lowe’s outing yesterday. Hohler’s notebook and Silverman’s notebook both look at Casey Fossum’s likely stint on the DL. McAdam’s notebook looks at Dave Wallace as the likely interim replacement for Tony Cloninger as the Sox pitching coach takes time off to devote full attention to his cancer treatments.

Michael Felger looks at what we can learn from this weekend’s Patriots minicamp. Rich Thompson looks at Rosevelt Colvin, who is determined to be an LT-like force for the Patriots this year. Tom Curran gathers some thoughts from Patriots players who played in the Big East on the apparent loss of Miami, Syracuse and BC to the ACC. Hector Longo wrapped up minicamp with a look at the linebackers, and his top five observations from the camp.

Kevin Paul Dupont wonders if the Devils can get back to their own style of play in time for tonight’s game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. Steve Conroy looks ahead to tonight’s game and the historical context each team will be viewed in pending the outcome. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the Ducks need to break through on the Devil’s ice tonight. Russ Conway in his Sunday NHL notes, looks at the league awards being handed out this week.

Steve Bulpett reports that Danny Ainge will not be extending the contracts of Antoine Walker or Eric Williams this summer. Peter May reports on last night’s Spurs win in game three of the NBA finals. Bulpett also files a game story from New Jersey. May’s notebook looks at Mutombo’s comeback being shorted last night, and also contains the obligatory Tim Duncan/Rick Pitino/Celtics/Duncan might’ve left Boston after one contract reference. Anyone catch the smug Jason Kidd after the game last night, with of course TJ by his side at midnight, and playing with the microphone, Kidd said how there is no pressure on the Nets right now because they’re not even supposed to compete in this series. Sorry Jason, that no-respect gig might’ve applied last year, but most people think your team has a good shot in this series, so if you lose, it’s your own fault.

Ron Borges wraps up Gatti-Ward III. As usual, Borges’ talent for writing shines when he’s doing what he loves…the boxing beat. George Kimball also looks at Ward and Gatti meeting up in the hospital. Do us a favor, Don Skwar, let Ron Borges focus exclusively on Boxing, move Nick Cafardo back to the Red Sox beat, and platoon him there with Bob Hohler so that those guys don’t have to go on every trip the Sox take, (for their own sakes and that of their families.) like the Herald does with Silverman and Horrigan, make Michael Smith your primary Patriots writer, and groom another couple young guys to work alongside him.

John Molori catches up with the CN8 crews to learn about their sports programming plans, and knocks the local media for their treatment of Pedro’s comments this week.

ABC has game seven of the Stanley Cup finals tonight at 8:00. ESPN has Phillies/Angels at 10:00.