If the Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers can all split the two games remaining in the current series, I would be happy. Okay, so the Cubs and Brewers are playing each other, so I guess that only counts as one split, but you get the picture.
With the Cubs beating the Brewers and the Cardinals winning today, Milwaukee has fallen into third place, 2 1/2 games behind the leading Cubs. Meanwhile, St. Louis managed to stay within 2 games of the division lead.
With Sheets and Parra pitching against the Cubs in the final two games of this series, a split won't be as easy at it seems. Still, if the Cubs can achieve that split and the Cardinals are unable to beat Roy Oswalt, the standings will look the exact same on Thursday as it does now. With us trying to hang onto a small lead, simply knocking games off of the schedule without losing any ground could be beneficial to us.
Just flipping the pages on the calendar puts us closer and closer to the playoffs. The St. Louis Cardinals just played the first game of what will be 35 games in the season's final 34 days and the Brewers have their final 11 games of the year against Atlanta, St. Louis and San Diego. Holding on might be all we need to do.
Lee continues to struggle: All-Star Derrek Lee did knock in a key insurance run in the Cubs' seventh inning, but the first baseman still hasn't looked comfortable at the plate. I was joking about putting Ward and Fontenot in the lineup until they each went 0-for-15, but dropping the former batting champion in the lineup might not be a bad idea. With Alfonso Soriano returning to the lineup, Ryan Theriot is batting second meaning previous options for the two-hole (Jones, Kendall, etc) could conceiveably bat third. Ramirez fourth, Floyd fifth and Lee sixth (or even DeRosa sixth and Lee seventh) could work. It takes some pressure off of Derrek and gives him the next best thing to a change of scenary.