### Thursday, September 23, 2004

#### Magic Number Redux

The math tells you its 12. It’s not. It’s really 10. And, get this: the Cubs actually have a 2 game loss column lead in the Wild Card hunt.

No, I’m not on crack.

See, with the Dodgers in free fall and the Giants closing to within 1 game of the Dodgers in the loss column, the Dodgers must now be factored into any Wild Card scenario. Well, guess what? Starting tomorrow, the Giants and the Dodgers face each other 6 times in 10 days. Someone has to lose those games. Guaranteed. And one of them will lose at least 3 games. If you give three losses to the Giants, the Cubs are up 3 in the loss column on them. If you give three losses to the Dodgers, the Cubs are up 2 games in the loss column. There’s no way it’s any worse. If the Dodgers win more than 3 games, the Giants lose more than three. And vice versa.

Here’s a complete reversal of opinion in just a few days for me: I think the Cubs can all but clinch a playoff spot with a win today and a Dodger loss. All this is possible because the Padres have spanked the crap out of the Dodgers. What the Giants do today doesn’t really matter, but a win for them would be nice because it buries the Astros.

Go David Wells!