Enjoying the Ride, But Still Tentative About the Brewers
Whatever the reason, unbeknownst to me, I had purchased a ticket on the Titantic. While that CHI team finished with 92 wins, they aren’t remembered for their solid overall performance or quality of their pitching staff or their fine everyday lineup. No, that club is remembered for a monumental collapse that converted a nine game division lead on August 12 to a eight game deficit by the time the season ended just six weeks later.
And herein lies the root of my hesitation to jump out of my shoes about the seemingly commanding NL Central lead presently possessed by the Brewers, the team I cashiered the Cubs for and have followed religiously since they came to Milwaukee 42 seasons ago.
I have been taking a lot of shots (mostly good-natured) from my Twitter tweeps about my hesitation to be giddy about the Brewers current state of affairs. These guys are real students of the game, follow it closely and are extremely knowledgeable–not just about the Brewers, but about the whole professional baseball scene. However, I have at least 15 years on most of them, and that has allowed me to see stories like this unfold in ways that haven’t always had a happy ending. Like @BigSnakeMan (who is just three days younger than me), I’ve been following the game long enough to have experienced a sudden downpour on an otherwise sunny day. In other words, I’ve seen my team cash in a nine game lead at this time of the year and exchange it for an eight game deficit by season’s end. I’ve seen how a five game winning streak can be immediately followed by losing 11 of the next 13, dropping my team out of the lead and leaving it listing.
I realize that the projections show the Brewers have a better than 90% chance of making it to the post-season. I know that Rickie Weeks is making progress with his ankle injury and will probably be back in the Brewers lineup early next month (just when the team will also be able to bring on some minor league reinforcements when the rosters expand). By then, Chris Narveson will also be back in the rotation and Carlos Gomez will be available to provide defensive help and pinch run in close and late situations. All that is good. But it is hard for me to get too revved up just yet. After all, the Cubs were seven games up on the Mets in the NL East after 125 games in 1969. Interestingly, after 125 games this year the Brewers are 6.5 games up heading into tonight’s match up against, of all teams, the Mets. Fortunately, NY won’t be sending Tom Seaver to the mound during this series.