Pirates 66-89, -16
Cubs 82-73, +2.5
POTG: LF Soriano (2HR [31/239], 3 H, 5 RBI, BB)
Runner Up: 1B D Lee (4 H, HR [19/235], 2 R), 3B A Ram (HR[26/222], 2H, 2RBI), SS Ryan Theriot (3 H, 2 R, SB), LF Sam Fuld (BB, OF A [1/1])
This win and Brewers loss isn’t IT, but it’s very very close to being IT. For the Cubs to end up even in a tie, one of these would have to happen
(Brewers get unnaturally hot)
Brewers go 8-0, Cubs go 5-2
Brewers go 7-1, Cubs go 4-3
(Cubs collapse in a horrible fashion)
Brewers go 6-2, Cubs go 3-4
Brewers go 5-3, Cubs go 2-5
Brewers go 4-4, Cubs go 1-6
Brewers go 3-5, Cubs go 0-7
The Brewers can only lose one more time the rest of the season if they expect to have a shot, and they have much too hard of a schedule to expect something like that happened. You can’t call it over because of what happened in 2003, with just about the same length of lead and time, but yesterday’s events moved the Cubs a lot closer to having non meaningful games versus the Reds.
Since the start of the month, I’ve been looking for the Cubs main hitters to start pulling their power numbers a bit closer, and it seems like they’ve done it all in one week. Soriano’s right about where you’d think he’d be and Ram’s almost there despite the time both of them spent out. While Derek’s probably going to have a disappointing (sub 25) HR total, he’s still making a lot of ground.
I’m a bit worried about the bullpen, because they’ve had a lot of innings to fill of late and that’s going to take a toll. Only 4 of the last 10 starts have gone for six or more innings and the prime bullpen guys have pitched a lot of those makeup innings because the games have been so close. Z finishing off his regular season starts in Wrigley (and possibly his regular season starts entirely if the lead grows a little more) with a 7-8 inning start would be a nice break.