For the first time in a long time, I found myself rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend. It is something I am not proud of, but I am sure the Faithful had the same feeling as well. I was looking for a split, and I figured that would be the best case scenario. Taking two from the Brewers is a tough task, especially since Ted Williams has thawed and comes to the park dressed like Ryan Braun. That kid is unreal. But the Cards did one better; literally, they took three out of four from the Brew Crew at Busch Stadium. The Cubs took care of business on Saturday after giving one away on Friday and the Cardinals sweep the Crew in a day/night double header. The Cubbies gain a game and a half in one day, what is it my birthday?
Sunday rolls around and the Big Z decided to throw one of his best outings of the year. If it wasn’t for his brief memory lapse, where he decided to play hacky sack instead of baseball, I think Z would have talked Piniella into letting him finish out the afternoon. Regardless of the last pitcher on the mound when the afternoon is over, a “W” was achieved and another game was taken off the Brewers dwindling lead. The Cards won again, are they getting too close? Our Cubbies ended the road trip with a 4-2 record, the Brewers 2-6. Happy Monday, the Cubs are a half game back in the NL Central. The last time you could say that was April 12th, four and a half months ago. This is a look ahead at the remaining schedule of the top two teams in the NL Central. I thought about adding the Cards, but that was it, just a thought. Let’s start with the Brew Crew, our travel partner for the remainder of the year. The Crew are an amazing 36-17 at home, but they are a miserable 21-32 away from Miller Park. Of the remaining 56 games on the schedule the Crew will be at home exactly half of their remaining games. The Brew Crew will go on a nice nine game road trip starting in Arizona on the 20th of August and will conclude at Wrigley on the 30th. This will be a key stretch for the Brewers and depending on their status at the time of that trip could determine their season. Let’s hope the Cubbies have a June-like August and that series will be a just a little extra stadium sauce on an already perfectly built brat. The favorable portion of the Brewers schedule will be the last week of the season.
The Crew will finish with a 7 game homestand, three against the Cardinals and four against the Padres. Not to discredit the Pads or Cards, but the Brewers love being at home and if goes down to the wire this could be critical. Against my wives wishes I bought the 2nd half of the MLB package on Comcast so I can watch the Brewers lose, let’s hope I get my moneys worth way before the last week of the season. Just to let you know, I can watch every game….awesome.
The Cubs on the other hand are pretty good at home and pretty good on the road, which I consider a huge advantage. The Cubbies are 27-24 at beautiful Wrigley Field and are 28-24 on the road. They are taking care of the home turf and playing just as good on the road. Of the 59 remaining games on the schedule 30 of them will be played at home. The Cubs also have a monster road trip in the middle of September.
On September 7th the Cubs will start a 10-game, 9-day road trip that will start with the Bucs and end with the Cards. On the 15th we have a day-night double header against the Cardinals. This is the makeup date from the postponed game due to the death of Josh Hancock. The Cubs have already changed many dates on the remaining schedule to accommodate the national audience. I don’t know if you heard but the Cubs are a pretty big deal. Looking at the schedule the Cubs play 27 games in September and 23 of those games are against teams that are below .500. Does that really matter? Teams are going to show up against the Cubs and some of the worst play us the best. How about losing the series against the Pirates before the break? You never know what is going to happen.
We have been fortunate enough to win when the offense hasn’t shown up and the pitching has been less than stellar. Good teams find a way to win, and this is a good team.
That was a brief look at the schedule and what lies ahead for our surging Cubs. What are your thoughts? What do you think is going to be the toughest part of the remaining schedule?
BTW….who believes in Witches now??? BOO!!
Until Next Time, but Always….GO CUBBBIES!!!