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catman 09-02-2008 01:21 AM

Down the Stretch they Come -- Thoughts of the day for September
Playoff fever is in the air. Who are the contenders? Who are the pretenders?

HibachiDG 09-02-2008 11:42 AM

The Brewers are pretenders. They'll come apart down the stretch. The Mets and Phillies will both get into the playoffs.

Do I have a lack of respect for the NL Central? Absolutely. But, that's a product of the team I follow the most, Phillies, always doing well against the Central. 23-16 this season and solid in recent years. Including 4-3 against the Cubs where all 3 losses were close and late. The Phillies had leads in all 3 of those losses. Two of them they lost in the 8th, one they lost in 6th. The Phillies are +9 in run differential against the Cubs and in the wins did not particularly struggle.

The Mets and Phillies going into yesterday had 7 games with the Brewers. I expect the Brewers to win 2 of the games. The Mets took game 1.

Now, if the Phillies could just beat the Nationals...

themush 09-02-2008 01:32 PM

If the Rays make it to the post season they will have earned it. 16 of the last 26 games are against playoff contending teams. 6 v. Boston, 6 v. Yanks, 4 v.Twins.

doublee 09-02-2008 01:38 PM

Are the Yanks really a playoff contender any more? Being 7 out with 25 to go they are basically playing for pride right now. Tampa, Boston, Chicago and/or Minnesota would have to collapse for the Yanks to even sniff the postseason.

themush 09-02-2008 02:05 PM

I know the Yanks are on the outside looking in but, they are still being mentioned with the others.

The Irish 09-02-2008 08:40 PM

I think they are still being mentioned because of their name. They are decent at best.

HibachiDG 09-03-2008 12:53 AM

Cubs have lost 4 in a row, but I wouldn't put them into the Pretenders column.

Ok, that didn't fit much, but AL talk is so boring.

doublee 09-03-2008 09:17 AM

I suspect the Cubs are losing their focus a bit since they have such a comfortable lead right now and the Brewers and Cards are doing nothing to put any pressure on them to keep winning.

However, the Cubs could be in a spot of trouble come October if Zambrano cannot get his arm right in time for the playoffs. Them being such heavy favorites revolves around the fact that Ryan Dempster is better than everyone else's #3 starter in the NL. If they have to go with Lily or Marquis in the 3-spot that brings their rotation back to the pack a bit.

HibachiDG 09-03-2008 11:08 AM

A lot of guys on that Cubs team have been overachieving this year as well. I know they've been the best team in the NL so far this year, but I think that's definitely a beatable team come the playoffs. Just a matter of who gets in to play them. The Mets and Phillies both won yesterday, so the Mets are showing that they're not going to have a collapse like last season, fortunately the Phillies are in a better position.

Both have games tonight, day off and then face each other for 3 of the biggest games of the season for each team. Phillies have not been bumping Hamels up in the rotation on his normal rest because of off days. They should strongly consider doing that to keep him out there Sunday against the Mets.

catman 09-03-2008 12:30 PM

The Mets have one thing they did not have last season -- Johan Santana. He will not let anyone around him give up on the season. Luis Ayala has been a very pleasant surprise for them at the end of the game. They still need to get the ball to him, however. That is the weakness of the Mets' team, and something they will need to address this off-season if they want to advance past the first round of the playoffs (providing that they make it at all).

catman 09-03-2008 12:32 PM

As to the Cubs, if Zambrano is right, they will be very tough to beat in the playoffs. Harden is a very good starter and Dempster has done a nice job in the #3 slot.

doublee 09-03-2008 01:05 PM

I don't think the Mets stand a realistic chance of any kind of a playoff run unless they get Wagner back at full strength.

I would also like their chances a bit better if John Maine were healthy though. Oliver Perez has always been a bit of a wild card and Pedro is in that territory now as well. Mike Pelfrey has been great for them but his previous career high in innings was 152 and he is already at 169 so there is no telling how he is going to hold up the rest of the year. He could hit a wall in another week or two.

The thing that would worry me just a bit if I am the Cubs is their two key setup guys Marmol and Samardzija are unproven in the postseason and Wood has yet to prove he can close out big games when it matters the most.

HibachiDG 09-04-2008 01:59 PM

Well, they're 3 up now with 3 against the Phillies, if they win 2 out of 3, I think they'll win the division. The Phillies do not seem to have that same fire as they had last season and seem to be in this mood of waiting for the wins to come to them. They're not going to have a run like last season where they beat the Mets as much as they did. They've got to go out and handle their business more. The bright side, Howard hit two homers last night, so maybe he'll put the team on his back for the next couple of weeks.

themush 09-04-2008 02:43 PM

Well the Rays seem to be ready for one of the biggest collapses in recent memory.

Tarkus 09-04-2008 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by themush (Post 285665)
Well the Rays seem to be ready for one of the biggest collapses in recent memory.


Just gettin' a case of the nerves or what, Mush? :P

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