Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Know Your Enemy 2005 - Week 2
2005-04-18 11:36
by Derek Smart

You wanna know how to achieve parity? Have everyone play twelve or fewer games, that's how. True, the NL Central isn't a hugely disparate division, but it's a lot less tight than the current standings would have us believe, especially from top to bottom. Things will separate soon enough, but for now, things are hot and close in our little corner of baseball.

  1. St. Louis Cardinals

    Season Record6-4
    Week's Record4-1
    Games Back--

    The sleepers have awakened. It's a phrase that can apply to the team as a whole, as well as their big three hitters - Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds - who emerged from opening weeks that ranged from rather pedestrian to downright awful with powerful vengeance, drilling two homers and a double each.

    Of course, the team as a whole didn't hit terribly well, scoring only 21 runs in 5 games with an OPS of .686, but that hardly matters when your opponents can cobble together a mere 12 runs themselves - half of them off of Mark Mulder in one game. In fact, only Mulder, Chris Carpenter and Jason Marquis allowed any runs for the Redbirds this week, and that's tasty no matter how you slice it.

  2. Cincinnati Reds

    Season Record6-5
    Week's Record3-2
    Games Back0.5

    Lovin' those one-run games! All three Reds victories this past week came thanks to a skinny run, making them 4-2 on the year in those ultra-tight contests. That's pretty lucky, but they'll need more than that kind of luck to contend, as they found out last year, when they were the only team in the National League with a winning record in games decided by single runs, but a losing record overall (the Indians accomplished the same dubious feat in the American League).

  3. Milwaukee Brewers

    Season Record5-6
    Week's Record2-4
    Games Back1.5

    Returning to Earth is never fun, especially when the stars are so gosh-darn pretty. That's what happens, though, when you run into a Cardinals squad that's decided it's had its fill of losing. There's no shame in getting swept by the defending NL Champs, but that doesn't make it fun.

    One story that is fun, though, is the emergence of Jorge de la Rosa as a bullpen force for the Crew. He's only thrown six innings, but his seven strikeouts already eclipses the number he put up in five starts last season. He still needs to cut down on his walks (he's given four free passes thus far), but even so, he's shaping up to be a nice young player on a team that seems to be getting nicer and younger all the time.

  4. Houston Astros

    Season Record5-6
    Week's Record1-5
    Games Back1.5

    Apparently, it wasn't bad enough to get swept by the team that bought their One True Centerfielder out from under them, they had to lose the next series to the Reds - a team they've flat-out owned the last several years, going 45-23 from 2001-2004, including victories in the last 11 games they played last season.

    There's some bad luck involved here, since out of their five losses on the week, four were by only one run, however, at some point the offense is going to have to take some of the heat. Having horses in your rotation is great, but you can't ride those ponies across the plate.

  5. Pittsburgh Pirates

    Season Record4-8
    Week's Record2-4
    Games Back3

    They only lost a half-game in the standings, but that has more to do with the season's relative youth and shifting fortunes at the top of the division than any truly positive developments. The fact that Oliver Perez' 5 run, 6 inning start can be legitimately termed an improvement should be enough to send shivers up Pirates fans' timbers.

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