Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NL Questions of contention

The MLB Playoff push is in full swing with July, and the trading deadline coming to a close. So as promised, this week we present the questions that each National League contender must address in their push for the playoffs.

NL East

Mets- The Mets have seen a lot of ups and downs this year, but thanks to the overall inconsistency of the NL East they find themselves in the division lead. The biggest question for the Amazins is their bullpen. As in if you have bullpen insurance, and your bullpen should happen to be wiped out in a “tragic and accidental” fire, are you entitled to an entirely new one?

Phillies- As usual the Fightin’ Phils are in the thick of the NL East race, but you have to wonder if their poor starting pitching will do them in. You’ve got to be a bit worried as a Phillies fan when your 2 and 3 starters are a mid-season acquisition with a 5+ ERA and a 5-12 record, and a guy who is old enough to be that mid-season acquisition’s biological grandfather.

Marlins- The Fish from Florida have been a big surprise thus far, having yet another year where they continue to win with as little as possible. The question here is how long will their minimalist ways continue to work out in their favor? They are like the sports equivalent of your college buddy who saves money and time by doing 5 shots of Devils Springs as soon as he gets to the bar. Sure he’s able to keep pace with everyone else with much less effort, but it’s only a matter of time before he wakes up naked next to some carnie with a fresh tattoo and a new pelvic itch.

NL Central

Cubs- The Cubbies have consistently been one of the league’s best teams this year, and look poised to make a legitimate run at breaking their 100-year curse… that is if nothing gets in the way. We know Bartman turned down $25k for an autograph, but what if the Wrigley Goat accepts the $50k proposition to just start showing and F’ing with everyone’s heads?

Brewers- CC Sabathia has been an absolute horse for the Brew Crew since his acquisition, winning 4 of his first 5 starts that have included 3 complete games. Missing two periods since his arrival in Milwaukee though, you have to wonder if the Brewers are just trying to squeeze as many pitches as possible out of Sabathia before he comes to the realization that he is pregnant.

Cardinals- The Cards have kept decent pace in the Central, but have struggled of late and are dealing with issues at the closer spot. Between Ryan Franklin and Jason Isringhausen the Cards have blown 13 save opportunities. I say bring in the real closer, she has cable’s #1 rated show of all time, she always gets the job done and plus, she knows drama.

NL West

Diamondbacks- Yes the D'backs have the division lead, but they could certainly improve upon it being that they are only one game over .500. Maybe manager Bob Melvin should focus a little more on why his team is hitting only .251 at the plate, and a little less on how much he loves Taco Bell’s new Fruitista Freeze.

Dodgers- The Dodgers are only one game off the division leading D’Backs, and could catch them easily if they could improve on their league 13th best run production. After promoting Don Mattingly to hitting coach recently, don’t be surprised if the boys in blue promote Donny Baseball to actually batting sometime in the near future.

Rockies- The Pittsburgh Pirates have begun trading away some of their best talent, having fallen out of contention in the NL Central, playing .462 ball and landing in last place. The Rockies however, have scorned suitors for their best player Matt Holliday as they are in third and only 6 games back of their division lead, despite playing only .449 ball. The only question I have is, just how bad would these reigning NL champs be if they didn’t play in the division for players with special needs?

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