Thursday, May 05, 2005
Not the only sweep in the NL Central
Was just checking the scoreboard, saw that the Cubs and Brewers were tied in the 9th. Not anymore. Brewers win as Hawkins gives up an RBI single to Carlos Lee. That makes a sweep of the cubby-cubbies by the Brewers. My first instinct is to ask "are the Cubs really that bad?" The answer is yes. They look terrible, and it's not just because of Wood's or Nomar's injury or their mysterious missing closer or a bullpen that's been notoriously weak for several seasons now. They still have the talent to compete with the Brewers. However, I wouldn't chalk up the sweep just to the poor play of the Cubs. The Brewers have been playing some pretty decent ball. The news services all seem to be buzzing about Overbay; rightfully so, he's on fire. But last year he had a big April and May in August and September, batting just .216 in the season's final month. This is a different Brewers team though, somewhat reconfigured after the team that overachieved in the first half of 2004. It's early, but if they keep this up (Ben Sheets returns soon, too) they might be the Cardinals main competitor for the NL Central crown. In other words, our playoff ticket is ours to loose! No, just kidding. But it would be wild to see such a non-traditional opponent to jockey with for the NL Central's playoff ticket. Here's another question. If the Brewers do turn out to be the number two team in our division (assuming the Birds continue their flight pattern, and improve it only slighly) will there be a return to the days where the NL Central was considered a weak division, the WAC Conference of Major League Baseball?