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Since I have taken to naming games this season, we'll name last night as The Ramirez Game Part II.
Last night, the best Cubs third baseman since Ron Santo hit three home runs, with 5 RBIs, and 14 total bases... and considering that the final score was 5-4, it is fair to say that A-Ram single-handedly won the game for us.
Since the Groinjury: After injuring his groin right before the all-star break, and being snubbed by Jack McKeon and the rest of the NL, Aramis has returned with vigor.
18 Home Runs, 16 Strikeouts, 172 AB!!! Although his average has fallen about 30 points following the injury, the numbers Ramirez is putting up are incredible. What's even more amazing is that fivr of those strikeouts occured within his first week back from a 15 day injury layoff. Thus, Ramirez has struck out only 11 times in his last 149 At bats (~165 PA). When considering his much improved, if not stellar defense, I think A-Ram merits some MVP consideration... although the MVP should probably be renamed 'The Barry Bonds Award.'
If the season ended today: The Cubs would be out of the picture. The NL contingent would feature a Cardinals vs. Giants matchup, along with a Braves vs. Dodgers NLDS. In the AL, the Yanks and Red Sox both appear to have a solid grasp on a playoff spot. The Twins are running away with the Central (+13.5 over the White Sox), and the Oaklanders are leading the West again by two over the Angels (who are 2.5 back of the Red Sox in the WC), and the Rangers are 5 and 5.5 in back of the A's and Red Sox respectively.
Despite being behind the Giants by .5 a game, the Cubs still control their own destiny, as the Giants have played 3 more games than the Cubs. Additionally, the Giants have a much more difficult schedule remaining than the Cubs. (Although, I don't put a lot of faith in that though.)
Thus, The Moral of the Story is: hang on to your hats folks, its gonna be another wild ride!
Magic Number: 18 Cubs wins, or Giants losses... 18 games remain.
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