I seem to be blogging more than expected this week…but let’s run with it…
I know, I know…the ninth inning loss was hard to take…but let’s be honest with ourselves – we’ve been there before. After so many of those earlier in the season, I wasn’t shaken at all with the loss on Wed. (well, okay – maybe a bit). But was it the fact that I’ve been forced to endure so many late inning collapses this season that I’ve developed calluses over my heart (okay, that was dramatic…)? I don’t think so…I don’t think it was cynicism that kept my spirits up…I think it was perspective.
If you’ve read the post immediately before this one (For the Mildly Delusional…), then you’re familiar with the playoff birth plan I’ve laid out for the Brewers and Cards. It’s still early (only 2 or 3 days removed), but let’s see how we’re doing so far.
Brewers lose game against Mets – CHECK. Brewers lose one game against Padres – CHECK. Phillies drop “should win” game(s) against Nationals – CHECK (so far…). Cardinals go 3-2 against the Diamondbacks – TO BE DETERMINED.
Ah…there we go. The loss against the D-Backs on Wed. – as disappointing as that loss was – still fits into “the plan.” Sure, it wasn’t ideal…especially considering it means one of our three wins must now come against either Webb or Haren…but it did NOT derail the plan. And the Brewers and Phillies? Couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. The Phillies lose their FIRST game against the Nationals since the publication of my “plan,” and the Brewers lose not only the Mets game but the first against the Padres as well! The Brewers could win every remaining game against the Padres and STILL be “in plan.” And guess what…they haven’t even faced Peavy yet!
Tonight, the Padres face CC. Okay, we’ll give the Brewers that game…especially because the Padres won’t have to waste their ace in a losing cause. But remember this…every additional game the Brewers lose outside of the plan only gives the Cardinals more breathing room. Drop the game against Peavy this week and suddenly the Cardinals don’t have to pull off the near impossible sweep of the Marlins. Of course, there’s still the Phillies to contend with…but the Phillie Factor is just going to have to handle itself. That team is so unpredictable that it’s pointless to try and predict what they will do. All we can do is focus on winning our games and chasing down the current top dog – the Brewers.
So…let’s keep this in perspective, folks…a loss here and there…even an unaccounted for loss…is not a season killer. The way this team makes the playoffs is by focusing on the big picture – our September series record against the remaining teams on our schedule. We don’t need to win every game, but we have to show the resiliency this team has become known for and continue to pick ourselves up after each loss. The plan isn’t ideal…but it CAN work.
Having said all that…I’ll be shocked if this team even comes close to sniffing a Wild Card birth…but stranger things have happened.