The Cubs are doing a terrific job at playing spoiler.
Consecutive wins against St. Louis is a crucial blow to the Cardinals’ chances of catching Milwaukee, who’s opened up its largest-ever division lead this late in a season, now 8.5 games up.
Even with the big-three of Pujols, Holliday and Berkman healthy, the Cards pitching, in particular its bullpen, can’t keep up. A Major League leading 136 double plays hasn’t been much help from the offense, either.
St. Louis is 1-4 on its current road trip. Berkman has yet to homer in August and Friday’s walk-off loss to the Cubs gave St. Louis its 12th walk-off loss of the season–the most in the majors. Take that Ryan Theriot!
Chicago has several more chances to play the spoiler’s role. The Cubs wrap up its seven-game homstand with four against Wild Card leading Atlanta this week.
That’s followed by a six-game road trip against division leading Milwaukee and three games against San Francisco, who’s trailing Arizona by 2.5 games in the West.
Two weeks playing against has-beens Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New York precludes two late September series on the road at Milwaukee and St. Louis.
However, baring a historic collapse by Milwaukee should render both series meaningless as far as the division title is concerned.
That said, it’s worth noting the Cubs only trail Pittsburgh and Cincinnati by four and fives games, respectively.
If Chicago continues to play as well as it has during the season’s second half (19-15) a third place finish in the Central isn’t out of the question. Who would’ve guessed?