Cubs Never Out of It

No matter how flat the team seems on a given day – they had just 5 hits going into the 9th inning last night – they always seem to have a good chance to win.

Listening to the radio call last night, I hear Pat Hughes channeling Jack Brickhouse in trying to sell me the idea that Daryl Ward “might get a hold of one…”.  For years, Brickhouse would search for an angle to promote some interest, some suspense.  He would say “oh if George “The Barron” Mitterwald could just get a hold of one – he’s due!”, knowing in his heart that the Barron would not choose that moment for one of his nine annual home runs.  Even as a ten year old I knew Brick was selling me a lottery ticket of a chance that the Cubs could pull out a miracle.

Whats different today is the 2008 Cubs are cashing in all that good, unspent Karma. As it turned out Hughes was right on. Ward had been 4 for 40 with one HR on the year. The Marlins closer Gregg had served up just one HR in 55 innings this year.  The odds were astronomical that those two guys would do what neither of them had done much of this year – both at the same time.   I thought to myself: forget the homer, and just poke the ball over the second baseman’s head for a single.  Keep it going, just don’t make an out.

But Daryl freakin’ Ward came through with the 3-run bomb. Amazing. A miracle!  But for this year, to be honest, not entirely unexpected.  With Kosuke Fukudome and Aramis Ramirez on the bench, Lou chose Ward. He pulled the right strings again and the Cubs end the day 5.5 games up in the NL Central, 28 games over .500, and with another dramatic win.

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    August 16, 2008   Posted in: game strategy, observations, oldschool, the media

    5 Responses

    1. aj - August 25, 2008

      In the aftermath of the Cubbies taking another series, this time from the lowly Washington Nats, I am getting calls and comments from friends who are concerned about the Brewers catching and blowing bye the beloved Cubs in the standings. Watch out for the Brew crew, swept another series, no stopping those guys, Braun is back now, Sabathia is unstopable, this team is not going away. Ok Ok, everyone really needs to chill. If there is anything to worry about concerning the Brewes it would be the NLCS. Here’s why.

      The Cubs lead the division by only 4/5 game. Only/ What? Are you crazy? Let’s look at it mathematically. The Cubs currently boast a Major League best 80 – 50 record. 30 games over the .500 mark. Wow! Can we really believe the team is that good. It’s almost boring watching them win so often. Brewers have a good record at 76/55 extending to 21 games over the .500 mark. This means the Cubs are actually playing 9 full games better than the Brewers. The Cubs magic number stands at 26 Cubs wins or Brewer losses. A little early for that number to have an impact but more importantly, check this little stat out.

      If the Cubs slump over their final 32 games to an even record of 16 and 16, that will give them a season record of 96 and 66. On the other hand, for the Brewers to overtake the Cubbies, they would have to play .840 ball or go 26 and 5 in their final 31 games. Right! That’s really going to happen.

      The truth is, Cubs will match up against the Dodgers or the D-Backs in the first round and the Brewers will be on the road vs. the Mets or the Phils. In my humble opinion, the Cubbies do not match up well against the Phillies or D-Backs but can easily handle the Mets or the Dodgers. Again, the bigger problem will be the Brewers in the NLCS. Thank god the Cubs will have the home field ad in that one.

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    4. bleecherguy - August 26, 2008

      AJ, youre right on target, bro. The Brew crew has no chance to catch the big blue express this year!

    5. stephen - August 26, 2008

      Like Yogi was known to say, It Aint Over Til Its Over. Lets not get ahead of ourselves for fear of angering the baseball gods.

      AND you ARE likely right on in your take on this.

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