09/14/2005: Magic Number Watch:
[The Cardinals won 5-4, on a walk-off RBI single by David Eckstein, while Houston dropped their game with the Marlins, 4-2.
Now I'm really torn. Remember, I've voiced here my desire that Houston win the NL wild card, which would guarantee the Cardinals a fairly stress-free NL Divisional Series against the winner of the NL
WorstWest. However, if the Cardinals win their game this afternoon, and Houston loses theirs tonight, the Cardinals would clinch the National League Central Division Title at home, which would be a most appropriate way to close out (almost) the final season at Busch Stadium II. (The Cards leave for Chicago and a two week road trip after this afternoon's game, so if the Cards don't clinch at home today they most likely clinch on the road somewhere. Come to think of it though, if they don't clinch at home today, it would be most sweet if they'd clinch at Wrigley Field this weekend... heheheheheh.)
The problem with the Cards clinching today in St. Louis is that means that Houston drops three straight games to the Florida Marlins, who they led in the wild card race going into the Marlins series. Now, after two losses to the Fish, the Disastros are now third in the wild card standings, a game and a half behind Florida and a half-game behind Philadelphia. Even worse, after this losing streak the Baseball Prospectus Postseason Odds Rankings now says that it's a better than even chance (roughly a 56% chance) that the NL wild card team will be one of either Florida or Philadelphia (if Houston loses their game tonight, obviously, the odds of Houston winning the wild card become even longer). This means that we'd probably play the wild card team in the NLDS, which wouldn't be the easy romp that a series against the NL
WorstWest champion would be.
*sigh* Why does life have to be so complicated?]
Len on 09.14.05 @ 07:12 AM CST