MLB Weekly Review 8-25-08
Is this “next year” for the Cubs?
If you’re a fan of the Chicago Cubs or just a fan of baseball, you’ve certainly heard the phrase, “there’s always next year.” With the Cubs currently owning the best record in baseball, this really could be their year.
Not only do the 80 wins by the Cubs top all of baseball, their 49-19 home record makes the friendly confines of Wrigley Field someplace that opponents don’t want to be in October. They are also one of only six teams that do not have a losing record on the road.
The Cubs could very well be facing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the World Series.
The Angels still hold a commanding 17 game lead in the division despite losing 7 of 9 games recently. They’re starting to look vulnerable losing 2 against Tampa Bay, 2 against Minnesota, 2 against Cleveland and even dropping a game to the lowly Mariners. They will still make the playoffs with ease and their magic number is only 16.
With the Angels, Cubs and Rays looking to hold onto their division leads, 3 other races are a little bit closer.
The Dodgers trail the Diamondbacks by 3 games and the division will be decided very shortly. LA heads to the desert for a 3 games set this weekend, followed by a 3 game series with San Diego and then they play host to Arizona for 3 more games.
The Phillies will also decide a lot in the next couple of weeks. They currently trail the Mets by 0.5 games and host them for 2 games this week. Philadelphia then heads out on a tough road trip, which includes 4 games at Chicago, 3 at Washington and 3 more at New York.
The only race closer than New York and Philadelphia is Minnesota and Chicago, who are tied for the American League Central lead. The Twins are in the middle of a brutal 14 game road trip that started off with a split vs. the Angels. The race will likely come down to the last week of the season when Minnesota hosts Chicago for a 3 game series.
Denard Span has been a spark plug at the plate for the Twins, but no one has been as hot as Grady Sizemore and Matt Holliday.
Sizemore is batting .333 over the past week with 6 runs scored, 1 triple, 2 homeruns, 10 RBI and 4 stolen bases.
Holliday is hitting .417 during the same span with 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI and 3 stolen bases.
On the other side of the field, Rich Harden and Ricky Nolasco have been lights out.
Harden pitched the Cubs past the Reds and Nationals this week. He picked up 2 wins, going 7 innings in each outing. He scattered 4 hits while allowing only 1 run. He didn’t walk a single batter and struck out 21.
Nolasco was equally impressive with 2 wins on the road vs. the Giants and Diamondbacks. He went 7.1 innings vs. Arizona and logged a complete game against San Francisco. He gave up 5 hits and 2 runs. He recorded 21 strikeouts and 2 walks.