Monday, September 10, 2007

Nineteen game season

It's hard to believe that after 143 ballgames this is where the Cubs find themselves. They are in a dead heat with Milwaukee for the NL Central. If you look back on the season it has been a very strange one in the NL Central.

The Cubs and Cardinals were the teams that most of the prognosticators picked at the start of the season to win the division. After a hot April and May it looked like the young Milwaukee Brewers were gonna run away and hide taking this division running away. As late as June 23rd the Brewers had an 8-1/2 game lead in the NL Central race. But a funny thing derailed the Brew Crews coast to October. Our Chicago Cubs played the best baseball in the big leagues in June and July, they became the hot pick to run away and hide. So August comes and goes, and the Cubs and the Brewers play so poorly that the left for dead Redbirds climb back into the race.

Yeah this division
. Frankly, I don't even think they should allow a team from this division into the tournament. But that's a post for another day. Whether I like it or not, one of these teams is gonna make the playoffs. So with 19 to play (21 for the Cardinals) here are the current standings:

CUBS 73-70 - .510
Milwaukee 73-70 - .510
St. Louis 69-72 3.0 .489

These are the schedules that the three clubs are looking at through the end of the regular season:

Sep 11 @Hou 8:05 PM
Sep 12 @Hou 8:05 PM
Sep 13 @Hou 7:05 PM
Sep 14 @StL 8:10 PM
Sep 15 @StL 1:05 PM
Sep 15 @StL 8:10 PM
Sep 16 @StL 2:15 PM

Sep 17 Cin 8:05 PM
Sep 18 Cin 8:05 PM
Sep 19 Cin 8:05 PM
Sep 21 Pitt 2:20 PM
Sep 22 Pitt 1:05 PM
Sep 23 Pitt 2:20 PM
Sep 25 @Fla 7:05 PM
Sep 26 @Fla 7:05 PM
Sep 27 @Fla 4:05 PM
Sep 28 @Cin 7:10 PM
Sep 29 @Cin 7:10 PM
Sep 30 @Cin 1:15 PM

Sep 11 @Pitt 7:05 PM
Sep 12 @Pitt 12:35 PM
Sep 14 Cin 8:05 PM
Sep 15 Cin 7:05 PM
Sep 16 Cin 2:05 PM
Sep 17 @Hou 8:05 PM
Sep 18 @Hou 8:05 PM
Sep 19 @Hou 8:05 PM
Sep 20 @Atl 7:35 PM
Sep 21 @Atl 7:05 PM
Sep 22 @Atl 3:55 PM
Sep 23 @Atl 1:05 PM
Sep 24 StL 8:05 PM
Sep 25 StL 8:05 PM
Sep 26 StL 8:05 PM
Sep 27 SD 8:05 PM
Sep 28 SD 8:05 PM
Sep 29 SD 7:05 PM
Sep 30 SD 2:05 PM

St. Louis
Sep 11 @Cin 7:10 PM
Sep 12 @Cin 7:10 PM
Sep 13 @Cin 12:35 PM
Sep 14 CUBS 8:10 PM
Sep 15 CUBS 1:05 PM
Sep 15 CUBS 8:10 PM
Sep 16 CUBS 2:15 PM

Sep 17 Phi 8:10 PM
Sep 18 Phi 8:10 PM
Sep 19 Phi 8:10 PM
Sep 20 Hou 8:10 PM
Sep 21 Hou 8:10 PM
Sep 22 Hou 7:15 PM
Sep 23 Hou 8:05 PM
Sep 24 @Mil 8:05 PM
Sep 25 @Mil 8:05 PM
Sep 26 @Mil 8:05 PM
Sep 27 @NYM 7:10 PM
Sep 28 @Pitt 7:05 PM
Sep 29 @Pitt 7:05 PM
Sep 30 @Pitt 1:35 PM

The Cardinals will play the most games at home in the final stretch. They also have the advantage (or disadvantage) of playing 7 games against the two teams ahead of them in the standings. As much as I'd like to say the Cardinals are out of it after today, I'm not gonna make that mistake again.

The Brewers who carry the best home record in the NL will play 11 games at Miller Park. From September 20th on their schedule gets pretty difficult playing the Braves, Cardinals and Padres.

After today the Cubs have only 6 games remaining at home. The good news is the Cubs have been a .500 club on the road this season (this stretch will probably need a little better than .500, but who knows?). The Cubs don't have as tough a schedule as Milwaukee or St. Louis IMO. The trouble is they have played Milwaukee and St. Louis strong this year in the division, they have really struggled with the bottom feeders Cincy, Houston and Pittsburgh.

So it's down to this. Win or go home. At this point I'm supposed to make a prediction. But most of those have been wrong all year. So I'll pass. I'm just gonna sit back and watch the final 19, hoping Lee and/or Ramirez can get hot for three weeks and carry this team into October. Hopefully their big days today were just a start.

No comments: