Creeping Inexorably Toward A Worthwhile Sub-Heading.
Friday, October 03, 2003
Alright, so I've been slacking off a bit of late. With some crazy things happening at work, combined with getting ready to open the show I'm in, I've had very little time to devote to the blog. Anyway, enough of excuses. I hope to be more on top of things for the rest of the post season. Let's look at things as they were, are and shall be in this series.
During both games played so far, I've found myself thinking about how extra base hits just aren't happening in this series. And it turns out I was right. Both teams have combined for 4 multi-base hits in the first two games, 2 doubles for the Cubs, a double and a home run for the Braves. In both games, the team with the last extra base hit won (not that I find this predictive, just interesting). Was this unusual compared to what was happening in the other series? Well, as of last night, all of the series had played two games, so I took a peek at those for comparison.
I would feel no shock if after four games, every other series had at least twice as many XBH as Cubs/Braves. And I'm willing to say that every last bit of the blame for that rests on the shoulders of the Cubs. The positive part, of course, is that the Cubs' staff is holding down a very powerful Braves ballclub. The Braves paced the National League during the regular season with a .475 team slugging average, out pounding the second place Cardinals by 21 percentage points. Meanwhile, the Cubs' pitching staff was second in the NL in slugging allowed at .372, supplanted only by the Dodgers' ridiculous, and park aided, .354 figure. On the other side of the ledger, the Cubs offense is anemic looking with their .416 slugging average, balanced by the Braves' solid .401 allowed. All of this looks to me like a series-long ticket to singles-town, and the need for sustained rallies in order to do any significant run scoring. Which, looking at the Cubs' solid pitching and "offense," I find unlikely. I wouldn't be surprised to see the rest of the games in the series, much like the first two, hinge on a single, well timed double.