Thursday, August 16, 2007

The NL Central is a Joke

Milwaukee Brewers...Chicago Cubs...St. Louis Cardinals. They are all terrible!

Currently, the Milwaukee Brewers reside at the top of the NL the tune of a 62-58 record. As 42 games remain, a team atop of a division that is a measley 4 games over .500 is embarrassing. The NL Central is this year's NL West. No? Every night, I study the box scores -- and, every night, it seems as if both the Brewers and Cubs lose. Both the Brewers and Cubs are so bad that the the Cardinals (who currently sit 4 games UNDER .500) now have a legitimate shot at the playoffs, as they are merely 3.5 games behind the Brewers.

To put the NL Central's incompetence in perspective, let me throw a few stats at you...
  • On the year, Milwaukee has allowed 10 more runs than they have scored. Again, this is a 1st place team that we are talking about. In turn, the Red Sox have outscored their opponents by 132 runs...and the Yankees have outscored their opponents by 149 runs.
  • On the year, St. Louis has allowed 71 more runs than they have scored. Again, this team might now be considered the favorite in this division. This is pathetic!
  • Since July 20th, the Brewers have lost 17 of their last 25 games.
  • For the year, the Brewers are batting .262 (9th best in the NL), while the Cubs have managed to hit only 97 HR's (23rd best in MLB).
  • And, the pitching isn't any better. Milwaukee's staff has compiled a 4.48 ERA, while St. Louis hurlers have compiled a 4.70 ERA. Keep in mind that these ERA's have come by way of other NL offenses (meaning, NL pitchers are, essentially, granted an automatic out every 9 batters). To put it in perspective, the Yankees putrid staff has compiled a 4.39 ERA in the offensive-laden AL East.

Allow me to go on record by saying this...if the St. Louis Cardinals (with a starting rotation of Braden Looper, Adam Wainwright, Kip Wells, Anthony Reyes, and Joel Pineiro) make the playoffs, then I will have officially given up on the entire National League. Forget an "Ace", the Cardinals are starting five number 5's (at best)!!

I HATE the fact that the Cardinals won 83 games last year...and went on to win the World Series (you don't see 8-8 NFL teams holding the Lombardi Trophy). Based upon their regular season, St. Louis was clearly not the best team in baseball, as evidenced by the notion that there were several better American League teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs. Now, don't get me wrong...I fully understand that the World Series champ is a byproduct of which team gets hot at the right time. However, it should be noted that St. Louis limped into the playoffs last year, as they nearly coughed up an 8 game division lead in the last week-and-a-half of last year's regular season. Is that how one defines "hot"? And, please...don't give me the run-of-the-mill "it is what it is" argument.

In closing, if another 83-85 win NL Central team makes the playoffs again this year, then something needs to be done to alleviate this issue. "Playoff teams" need to be held to a certain standard.

Paging Bud Selig (I know, laughable)...

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