Thursday, August 16, 2007

NL Central, Things Getting Tighter [David Stefanini]

The St. Louis Cardinals, who looked to be out of it from the first week of the season, moved within 3 1/2 games of the first place Milwaukee Brewers last night. The Cardinals are 2 games behind the Cubs for second in the division, and are 6 games out of the wild card.
The Cardinals were as big of a disappointment as the New York Yankees this season. But now they are close to first in the standings. Now, lets not get carried away as to how good the Cardinals are playing. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games, but still remain 3 games under 500. Also, lets look at how they started this month. Five consecutive losses. So, by no means of the imagination are the Cardinals a team to be reckon with.
The real reason for this recent surge back into the playoff hunt is the horrendous play of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are 3-7 in their last 10, and now have to deal with life without Prince. Prince Fielder was suspended 3 games for "inappropriate and aggressive conduct" in an argument with an umpire.
The fact is this, the NL Central is a horrible division. The Cubs were a good team up until Soriano went down. If they can somehow stay in the playoff picture until he comes back then they will be in good shape to win this division at seasons end.
The Brewers are to young and are not yet ready for a playoff push. The Cubs don't have one of their top players; so their not sprinting towards the playoffs either. The Cardinals are the defending champions who are starting to win some games. Look for the Cardinals to make things interesting in the upcoming week or two in this division. I wouldn't be surprised is they are atop the division by the end of this month.

Labels: , , , , ,