Two of the three ugly girls competing for the title of Miss National League Central are about to meet face-to-face at Wrigley Field.
Pessimist that I am, I’m looking at the worst possible scenario, which I don’t think will happen, but still...
If the Cards were to sweep four games from the Cubs in while the Brewers swept three from the Reds, the Cubs would sit in third, two games from the second-place Cardinals (ugh!) and four games behind the division-leading Brewers with 38 left to play.
Would that be insurmountable?
I’m inclined to say yes, not because of the sheer amount of the climb so much as the difficulty of having to pass two teams. What’s more, I think the mental scar tissue left by the scenario outlined above would hinder the mission.
That said, the Cubs would still have three home games left with the Brewers and a four-game set yet to play in St. Louis, so even in the blackest of futures, the Cubs would appear to emerge with at least a sliver of hope.
Interesing that 5-Hit Mark DeRosa is not in the starting lineup for this afternoon’s series opener. Like others on the roster, DeRosa has been bearing a heavy load as the team was trying to survive injuries to Ramirez and Soriano, appearing in each of the last 20 games dating back to July 27th against the Reds. But as I noted last night, D-Lee’s burden has been even heavier. Maybe DeRosa will see duty at first base at some point in this series while Lee gets to sit.
Or could it be that Lou Piniella is looking at DeRosa’s lifetime numbers against Friday's Cardinal starter, Braden Looper—1-for-9 with two strikeouts—and thinking that, small sample size or not, this might be a good day for DeRosa to rest?
A Cub manager looking at past performance data and making a lineup decision based thereon?