There is an old children’s joke that reminds me of this Cubs season.
“Why is six afraid of seven?”
“Because seven eight nine.”
As soon as we hit seven games back I felt that it was too much to overcome and that loss ate up any chances we had of winning this thing in ’09. Add to it the fact that the Rockies keep winning and the rest of the pack keeps losing and they are separating themselves even farther in this wild card race.
Both the Cubs and the Rockies are 5-5 over their last 10 games. However, the way those wins and losses fell, we’ve lost ground on the Rockies and are now eight games back in the wild card standings. I can’t believe publications and outlets like ESPN even include them on their NL Wild Card standings/contenders lists any longer. I mean, again, it would take a miracle. So why not list the realistic chances only. Anyone who hasn’t been mathematically eliminated would require a miracle to make it in, so in that case if you list the Cubs, might as well list everyone.
Our line up was sorely missing Lee as his return to the lineup included a couple of home runs and a victory against the Mets. Putting all of that pressure and urgency on Wells’ starts in September is just too much for a rookie to realistically come through with so it’s no great surprise that Wells is proving to be unable to carry his weight through September. Zambrano’s been touch and go, Demp hasn’t done anything special and there’s been no run support for Lilly or Wells. So in that case we have to keep hoping Wells, a rookie, figures out a way to win and it’s just been too much.
Another Cubs loss today and a Rockies win. An unfortunate pattern as of late. I think I had the Dodgers winning the West and the Giants taking the wild card before the season began so if not the Rockies or Cubs, I suppose for my own record, the Giants are welcome to win the WC.
The way this season is ending will raise lots of questions in the off-season. Another starter needed? A closer? A new manager? Use some of these class, talented youngsters to get a big name to win now with guys like Soriano, Lee, Ramirez and Bradley playing and getting up there in years? Trade any of those guys in a blockbuster trade and perhaps that will make a difference? I don’t know. But the off-season will provide a ton of questions, predictions, analysis and trade proposals. Hendry will have his work cut out for him in figuring out the last few moves necessary to mold this roster into a World Champion team.
Until then, we still have 27 games left. Eight games out. Has seven ate ’09? Probably. But if the math works in our favor, then history may as well. And if that’s the case, the off-season business may be a lot different, the chemistry may be okay and the language we hear will be something entirely unexpected. First of the 27: Lilly against the Pirates. We’ll always have Pittsburgh is a popular saying here at Prose and Ivy. Tomorrow, we’ll see if that’s still true and if so, whether it makes any difference or not in the standings. Go Cubs Go!