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NL Central: Life without Soriano
Yes, it's been ridiculously hot and humid the last few days in the Windy City -- I went to steamy Wrigley Field on Sunday for Tom Glavine's 300th, and I wondered if I'd instead landed in Laos. The Chi-town faithful, however, need to chill. The loss of Alfonso Soriano for the next month or so is gonna hurt, of course. And yes, that the Northsiders have scored a total of three runs since Soriano pulled up lame on Sunday is not a good start for the offense.
But, Soriano's absence is not going to cost Chicago the NL Central crown. To blame Chicago's immediate struggles to score runs -- as well as the team's overall inevitable cooling off -- on Soriano is pretty ridiculous. The Cubs simply aren't a Sori-centric ballclub -— if they suffer a power outage in the next few weeks, then it will be the fault of Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, and the rest of the Cubs hitters, and if the losses do start mounting over the next few weeks, it will probably be because of their leaky bullpen.
"I would be more concerned if the Brewers looked better," says a National League assistant GM, "but they aren't going to run away with this. The Cubs will be there in the end."
Adds a scout, "They having plenty of offense in that lineup. I wouldn't be worried about their offense. I'd be worried about their bullpen. Ryan Dempster has been awful. They need a closer, that's what they need."
The Cubs, who still have the best record in the NL since June 3 and lead the entire league in run differential, will spend the next two weeks playing teams with losing records.
Labels: NL Central
posted by SI.com | View comments |
Hey, where the hell are you. I'm sorry but the NL central has still existed the last two weeks and last time I checked has a three team race currently and tits the best race in baseball at that. I'm sorry that Boston, and Baltimore and Philedelphia and New
York aren't in this division but last time I checked, this division has housed the NL's only two hundred game winnners in the last three years, three of the last four NL wildcards, all of the last three NL pennants and the current world champs. Wake up and write something, hell, Soriano is about to come back from the injury you last wrote about!
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AL Central blog (Tuesday)
NL Central blog (Wednesday)
AL West blog (Thursday)
NL East blog (Thursday)
Wild Card (Friday)