Saturday, July 16, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES

Well, I know all is well in Cardinal Nation when the last time I spoke to my good buddy Chris, a week or so ago over the phone, the only ammo he had against me was a few worn out Rick Ankiel jokes. He spoke as if Corey Patterson, who is now a .175 hitter in AAA, and Kerry Wood were actually living up to there hype and potential. Yes the same Corey, or as he is referred to in Cubbieland as KKKorey, who some Cubs fan were saying is better than Jim Edmonds. I know Edmonds and especially Rolen are having down years, but I still wouldn't trade them for KKKorey Patterson or Errormis Ramirez any day of the week. Despite Rolen's lack of hitting so far this season, his defense has been typical Rolen.

Also nice this year is Cubbieland really has no legitmate excuses as to why they are being dominated in the NL Central this year as the Cardinals have had their problems with injuries as well. Interestinghausen, Rolen, Edmonds, Walker, Molina, Morris, and now probably Sanders have all missed significant time due to injuries. Although Cub fans still fail to let me down with the funny, sometimes ridiculous excuses ala our favorable schedule, like the Cubs haven't played the same teams we are playing.

Now, all that having been said, the Cubs are starting to heat up a little bit. They have managed to win 5 in a row, although it was right after losing 8 in a row to the Braves and Nats. They manged to sweep Florida and are poised to do the same to the Pirates. They have managed to climb back to within 4 games of the WC. The Nationals are predictably sinking like a rock. They started off fast, winning a lot of 1 run games and winning with a lot of luck, but need I remind you that though they are now in Washington, they are still the Expos. I look for the Braves to win that division yet again. With no one really giving them much of a challenge. The Phillies and Mets pretty much stink, Florida is under achieving to this point, and the Nats are returning back to the Expos.

The NL West is pretty much a joke with those teams tripping over themselves and I think the Padres trip over themselves the least and win out there.

With the resurrgence of the Astros, and the Cubs back to getting healthy I really think it comes down to those two for the WC. Both teams will feast on the also rans in the Central while the Nats come back down to earth. I disagree with Chris as I think maybe 90 wins might get the WC as I really don't see the Nats getting 93-95 wins. The Cubs and Cardinals have 14 games remaining, while the Astros have only 6 with the Cardinals. The Cardinals have owned the Astros this season which is a disadvantage to the Cubs. I think it comes down to this...can the Cubs split with the Cards, which I think is pretty likely given 8 of the games are in "Wrigley Stadium". Then the head to head with the Astros. I truly believe the difference in the WC, as I have posted this before, is the difference in competition between the East and Central. Although I don't necessarliy think the Astros or Cubs are a better team than the Nats or Florida, I just think the likes of Cincinnasty, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee are far worse than the Phillies and Mets. The Cubs and Astros are both gonna get fat on those teams, while the East pounds each other. The difference for the Cubs will be playing .500 against the Cardinals, and beating the Astros. It should be interesting as the Cubs pitching rounds back into health and form, getting a healthy and productive Nomar back will be huge. Also with the current winning streak the Cubs go from sellers (which Chris is saying) to the buyers I think they need to be at the deadline. I disagree with Chris, which we have disagreed on alot of things here lately, but this deal is far far far from being over.