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Today, the Cubs were off, on their way home from a sweep in Milwaukee, so I decided to take in the free game of the day on MLB.tv, which was the Rockies at Mets. It was a pretty boring game, with the Mets shutting down the Rockies and the Rockies pitching themselves out of trouble while continuing their rotation experiment with the 75-pitch thing. Late in the game, former Cubs legend Tyler Colvin hit what should’ve been a long flyout, except that the center fielder totally misjudged it because Colvin is magic and it turned into a triple. Colvin would score and allow the Rockies to win. We’ll get back to this, but in the corner of the screen I actually saw the Astros implode.
Before we get to the Astros, let’s talk about the Rockies win and its implications. The Rockies come into Wrigley Field tomorrow for a three-game set and are now three games up on the Cubs. Or, if you want to look at it another way, the Cubs are three games up on the Rockies for the #2 pick in next year’s draft. Since the Cubs sucked more last year, they hold the tiebreaker. So there’s that. Even if the Cubs sweep the Rockies and they end up tied in the standings, they’ll still have the #2 pick due to the tiebreaker. Sad but true.
I switched to the Astros after the Rockies won and kept following them on Gameday. That’s when I took a look at the standings and saw just how much of a gap of suck there is between the Cubs and the Astros.
As for the Astros-Cardinals game, with the Cubs being idle, there was a chance for Chicago to make up a half-game for the race to #1 (pick). At one point the Astros were up 4-0, then 5-3. But the Cardinals are a lot better so they won. That put the Astros a full NINE GAMES back of the Cubs in the National League Central. Think about that. Even with as terrible as our beloved Cubs have been playing, the Astros are that much worse. They’re almost as far behind the Cubs as the Cubs are behind the Brewers, and the Brewers are already nine games under .500 which isn’t exactly good.
The Cubs are now at 47-76 (could get better or worse depending on what happens with the Rockies, who are also bad but not quite as bad) for a .382 winning percentage with 39 games left to play. The Astros are at 39-86, for a .312 winning percentage with 37 games left to play. This means while the Cubs are on pace for 100 losses, the Astros would shatter that mark and get all the way to 112 losses. I think the last time a team was that terrible was when Alan Trammell was managing the Tigers during their rebuild.
I remember when the Astros used to be good, with guys like Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman anchoring a formidable lineup. It’s kind of like when the Cubs used to be good (remember 2008) and then it all just went to hell. You can imagine how bad the Astros fans are feeling right now because we as Cubs fans are hurting pretty bad already.
The sad news is that the Astros are moving to the American League after this season, so the Cubs might end up being the worst team in the National League even if they’re not the worst in the majors (that’s still the Astros if you hadn’t guessed). Naturally this is good news for draft positioning but not-so-good news for us fans because watching the Cubs suck is really depressing. But for now, as bad as things are, at least we’re not Astros fans. I’m sure they’ll feel like crap in the other league next year though.