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Rainy days and Mondays

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The White Sox were rained out last night, so I had the evening free to take casual interest in MNF and ponder the challenges both our teams face in getting to the World Series. For starters, the Sox need to at least split a four-game set against the surging Toronto Blue Jays, especially with the Piranhas, though sucking of late, facng the Lowly K.C. Royals this week.

With 20 games left and a 2.5 game lead, of course, the Sox need to win as often as possible, and probably need to win a series like this rather than split. But, it seems regardless of what happens, they have a date with destiny in Minnesota later this month. Barring a massive winning streak by the Sox and losing streak by the Piranhas to match, the season really comes down to the three-game set up north Sept. 23-25. Lots of Sox fans don't like that and don't want to hear about it, but they should embrace the notion, and the Sox should, too.

The Sox, despite the loss and unlikely return of CQ, are set up well for the run, with several players running hot right now and the bullpen healthy. The fun starts with today's make-up game.

The Cubs are in St. Louis starting tonight for three games. This would be a nice setting for Edmonds to rediscover whatever vitality he managed to find a few months back when it seemed the Cubs were about to cut him. Don't want to pin the poor offense of late on just two guys, but Edmonds and Fukie need to hit and make the Cubs feel good about their left-handed hitter options in order to string some wins together. Daryle Ward will get you a walk occasionally, but not much else. That leaves Hoffpauir and Mighty Mite as the most likely producers from the left side of the plate.

A sweep by the Cubs would send St. Lou stumbling further out of the wild card race, though it would help this weekend's Cubs opponent, Houston, strengthen its wild card position. That's the squeeze the Cubs are now, if a 1st place team could be said to be in a squeeze. With 100 percent of their remaining games against postseason hopefuls, winning every series is not incredibly likely. With 19 games left, the Cubs can go just 10-9 in their remaining games and probably still win the division, a scenario which would force the Beermakers to go 14-4 just to tie the Cubs for 1st. The Brewers are capable of better, but so are the Cubs. Both teams have stumbled.

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