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NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT RACE: Down to the Wire

2005nationalleague

It’s been a long season and even with two days remaining, we still haven’t set the table.  The Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Central Friday with a win over the Cincinatti Reds and a loss by the Milwaukee Brewers, who dropped their third game in a row and second straight to the San Diego Padres who are still very much in a division and wild card race. 

 

NL WEST

 

 

The San Diego Pades sit at 89-71, one game back in the division and currently hold the wildcard lead.  Their relief pitching has been lights out in the Brewers series and on the road this team looks like the team to beat even with all their headline injuries including the likes of Mike Cameron and Milton Bradley.  They have two games left this weekend against the Brewers who after Friday night have nothing left to play for except pride.  I’m looking for this team to snatch one of the last 3 playoff spots. 

 

The Arizona Diamondbacks have solidified themselves not only a playoff spot but as a legitimate playoff contender.  This team has young and old talent, new energy and veteran wisdom, and the best pitcher in the National League.  Brandon Webb took the mound on Friday night against the hottest team in Major League Baseball and was lights out!  Webb pitched 7 innings and gave up two runs to lead the Diamondbacks to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.  The Rockies have had a great season and have had an even greater run towards the end but I think they will bow out gracefully in the next 2 days and give way to two teams in their division who have played just as outstanding down the stretch.  Hold your heads high Rockies you guys made a helluva run and you have some real good talent for the future.  For you “There’s always next year” is actually something to look forward to and not just a cliche statement for perennial losers. 

 

NL EAST

 

I just shake my head whenever I see a Mets score flash across my screen these days.  With their crosstown rivals cementing their playoff position, Gotham’s season leading team is in danger of becoming also-rans. The finger pointing has already begun in New York and there are plenty of blame for everyone.  The players blame the coaches.  The manager blames the pitching.  The fans blame the manger and the GM blames the eye in the sky.  What was once a comforable lead has evaporated to a one game deficit.  There is no joy in mudville. Two games to play and it’s win or go home.

 

Shout out to the Philadelphia Phillies!  Winners of 12 of their last 15, they have proved themselves a worthy MLB Playoff team.   If they get any kind of pitching in the playoffs they could easily be the National League’s World Series representative.  The Phillies are living proof that the season is a marathon and not a sprint. 

 

 

Who knows who will end up in the playoffs?  There’s a lot of baseball left, and a weekend of pressure packed baseball.  Anything can happen when the leaves are changing.  Feels like October.

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