Cubs Reassert Themselves

Cubs WinEntering a crucial four-game series with the Brewers on Monday, the Cubs held a perilous one-game lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central. Pundits across the board were claiming that this would be the series where the Brewers finally took over first place and claimed their spot as the best team in the National League.

As Lee Corso might say, not so fast my friend. Chicago swept the Brewers in Milwaukee, defeating both CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets on consecutive nights and finished the sweep off with an 11-4 drubbing last night. The Cubs now sit a comfortable five games ahead of the Brewers and also got Rich Harden his first win in a Cubbies uniform. Significantly it is now August, and teams now only have about fifty games left in the season. Losing four games in four days is a huge problem at any point in the season, but this is a particularly tough way to slide back. The four straight losses also pushes Milwaukee closer to the pack in the National League. The Brewers have 60 wins, but the Phillies have 59 and the Mets and Marlins have 58. Even Arizona has 56 victories. No longer can we just assume that the runner up in the Central will have a lock on the Wild Card (despite my claim yesterday that that was the case).

We’ll have to see how each team responds to the big series this week, but for the time being, the Cubs have absolutely distanced themselves as the best team both in their division and in the league as a whole.

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2 Responses to Cubs Reassert Themselves

  1. bwright08 says:

    My first reaction as a Cubs fan is HELL YEAH!! But then, being a Cubs fan, I had to bring it down a notch. While this series was huge, in my opinion must win, the Cubs aren’t going to run away with the division. I think they will win it, but it is far too early to annoint them champions.

    The most important aspect of this series was how well the Cubs played on the road. Even after winning 4 games they are still 4 games below .500 on the road. They outscored the Brewers by about 25 runs and still managed to strand 35 runners. Also, this series demonstrated how incredibly key a healthy Soriano is to this offense. The statement the Cubs made with this series is that when they’re healthy they’re one of the most dominant teams in the game. I’m worried about the absence of Kerry Wood and the struggles of Bob Howry recently, but I’m comforted by the presence of Jeff Samardzjia who is just absolutely hane.

    And how good a manager is Lou Piniella and how ridiculously deep is the Cubs bench?? You would think that having a different lineup practically every game would be disruptive but so far Lou has been masterful at putting the right players in the right situations.

  2. mao says:

    Yeah, the fact that the Cubs have been so crappy on the road all year makes this series win even bigger, I think. That’s why I think a lot of people were saying the Brewers were ready to take over first, since it was safe to assume the Cubs would lose at least two of the four games. But they really did a job on Milwaukee, winning in blowouts and in close games. And yeah, Samardzija (you had to have googled that name first, right?) was unreal. Completely nasty stuff. Though he could use a hair cut.

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