Wednesday, September 26, 2007

let your inner paranoid run wild

it's over, right? the cubs have won it. i even heard barry rozner say it on wgn radio a couple days ago.

i would answer that question with another question: how long have you been a cub fan?

here are the probable matchups the rest of the way:

if you as a cub fan don't see 0-5 as a possibility, you simply have not been around this club long enough. the cubs send their best against the best of cincy and send their worst to the mound in florida. does anyone really want to see arroyo, harang and superprospect bailey on the closing series?

conversely, here are the brewer matchups:

these are unfortunately not bad matchups for milwaukee. maddux is the toughest cookie, and milwaukee (complete with pitching coach mike maddux) has given him fits over the last three seasons. chris young has really struggled with control since august (9 gs, 0-5, 29 bb and 34 ra in 48.1 ip). none of the other three seem particularly big obstacles for an offense that is scoring 5.0 runs/game post-asb.

it's obviously very likely that the cubs win it, right? milwaukee's pitching has been a train wreck in the second half, right? unfortunately, having endured a disaster august, they've looked pretty solid in september -- going 14-9 with a staff era of 3.72 in spite of a .322 babip against. if you're looking for real weaknesses, you have to look at tactically-questionable manager ned yost and his use of a volatile bullpen.

do not discount the possibility of a one-game playoff -- as reassuring as any binomial odds report may look, the probability of a cub playoff spot doesn't have to go from 90% to 0% over the next five games to get ugly but instead just to 50%. some combination of the cubs going 2-3 while the brewers go 4-1 is hardly impossible here. it becomes particularly possible if the cubs somehow fail to capitalize on florida's weak pitching today and tomorrow. in the event, lou piniella has said he would send jason marquis, very probably against yovani gallardo.

anyone like that matchup? me neither.

so what am i saying? basically just this: assume nothing. it is very probable that the cubs win the national league central -- but these are the cubs, not the yankees. when the magic number gets to zero, then start talking playoffs. until then, my advice to you is to start drinking heavily. if past is any kind of prologue, this may be the most taxing week of the season.

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