Friday, September 10, 2004

Plus 5 to Minus 3

The loss column is all that matters. In that respect, the Cubs are up one an the Marlins, two on the Astros and Giants, and three on the Padres. At the end of this weekend, the Cubs will be anywhere from 5 ahead of the Fish to 3 behind. I'll say that anything less than 3 wins and the Cubs will be finished. The margin of error shrunk to eye-of-the-needle sized with the choke job against the Expos. And look who the others are playing: Houston is at Pittsburgh, San Diego goes to Colorado and San Fran gets the Western Expos aka the Diamondbacks.

Here's the weekend schedule and the pitching matchups:

Florida at Chicago Cubs
Pavano at Prior
Kensing at Wood
Willis at Zambrano
Burnett at Rusch

Houston at Pittsburgh
Munro at Van Benschoten
Backe at Vogelsong
Oswalt at Williams

San Diego at Colorado
Lawrence at Estes
Eaton at Francis
Peavy at Wright

San Francisco at Arizona
Hennessey at Johnson
Lowry at Randolph
Schmidt at Webb

Houston looks like a lock for 2 wins. Same with San Diego. San Fran at least gets to face Johnson or it would look like a sweep.

That means, the Cubs can expect each of their opponents to only add one to their loss column totals by Sunday.

A sweep of the Marlins? Sighs of relief. 3 of 4? Marlins are dying and the Cubs likely hold serve against the rest of the field. A split and the Cubs will be on life support. Worse than that? Well, the Bears season won't be over for a few weeks.

Now, looking at the Cubs starters, it sure seems like the Fish are handing game 2 today to the Cubs. A Class A rookie against Wood? Sunday looks to be in the Marlins' favor.

That leaves Prior and Zamboni. They must hold up their end or the finger pointing starts to spread more than it already has.

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