Cubs in first, but defending world champs closing gap

For most Cubs fans, it’s hard to believe September is only a few days away and their beloved Cubbies are in first place. Depending on the outcome of last night’s game (Tuesday, Aug. 28) against the second-place Milwaukee Brewers, their lead will have grown to 2-1/2 games with a victory, or it will have slipped to 1/2 game if they lost.

Needless to say, the current three-game home stand against their rival to the north is a big one. It could set the tone for the remainder of the season. Neither team has been playing that well recently. Despite losing two of three games to the National League Western Division leading Arizona Diamondbacks last weekend, the Cubs still managed to gain ground on the Brewers.

If either the Cubs or the Brewers expect to win this division, they need to step it up and get serious about winning. If they don’t, I can assure you their rivals to the south, Tony La Russa and his St. Louis Cardinals, will. The defending world champions are only two games back with a whole month of baseball remaining. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if the Cardinals start a late-season surge. September should be an interesting month for area baseball fans.

For the Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals, it’s definitely do or die time. Currently, the NL Central is the weakest division in all of the major leagues. The Cubs .512 winning percentage would place them no higher than third in any other division. Whoever does end up winning the NL Central is going to have to pick it up a notch or two if they plan on playing very far into the month of baseball that really matters, October.

from the Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2007, issue

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