I dont know when I will get bored of bashing the Cubs and all of their fans, but until then, I am just going to keep going.
It comes to my attention that the pitching staff's of the NL are being heavily debated, "who is the best?", "who will be the best in october?", I come to answer that question, and as you can guess from the title of this blog, it wont be the Cubs.
Case for the Cubs:
Solid 1-5. They arguably have one of the best pitchers, Zambrano, and one of the best deadline pick ups, Harden. Their bullpen is good, it's at about 3.84 ERA and they have a solid closer. All of their starters can pick up the 10K performances and dominate hitters, as well as pitch deep into games.
Case AGAINST the Cubs:
3 of the 5 starters are injury risks at all times, Z, Dempster, Harden. If any one of them goes down, they dont have the depth to fill the hole. Their closer is also a huge injury risk, Wood already having been put on the DL once this year. Another reason not to like the Cubs is their inability to go deep into games. Sure they rack up the strikeouts, but doing so raises their pitch count and makes the bullpen become overworked. The bullpen has almost hit 400 innings already! Their inability to pitch deep into games will be a huge downfall for the Cubs.
Case for the Dodgers:
Best ERA in the NL, high strikeouts, low walks...whats not to like? Well, not much, they have the lowest walk total in the top 5 for ERA, their K/9 is 7.51, a phenomenal ratio. Also their WHIP is just where it should be for a dominant staff at 1.30. They have depth and young talent in Billingsley and Kershaw, and the talent of wiley old veterans like Lowe, Penny and Maddux.
Case AGAINST the Dodgers:
Injuries. Lowe, Penny, and Kuroda have all hit the DL this year. Much like the Cubs, if they get hurt, the Dodgers cant replace them. I also worry about their mentality. Kershaw is young...very young, if he realizes where he is and panics, that could be devestating. Kuroda is a first year pitcher and has not experienced MLB post season yet, Billingsley also has yet to play in a post season game.
Case for the Brewers:
4th best ERA in the NL, however since the all star break they lead the Majors in ERA and CG's. CC has paid off in ways that cannot even be imagined. He has put life into a dead franchise, every time the Brewers go out there, they believe they can win, and doing that to a franchise is better than winning the Cy Young or winning 20 games. They have possibly the best pitcher in all of baseball, they have the NL All Star starter, they have the replacement pitcher of the year (Salomon Torres), and all the depth in the world. They currently have 2 pitchers who are supposed to be starters in their Bullpen, so if injuries occur, they have the right people to replace them. Also they have been able to pitch deep into games and save their bullpen for the long haul.
Case AGAINST the Brewers:
Lack of experience. CC and Suppan are the only ones with post season experience, and with young pitcher Manny Parra being extremeley sporadic, they could have trouble in october. They also give a lot more hits than other top staffs, this is mainly due to Suppan and the style he pitches, but it is a concern against good hitting teams.
I should also mention the Phillies. They may come as a surprise but they have the most dominant bullpen in the NL with a 3.16 ERA, and good starters that can go deep into games. But I dont really include them in my discussion just for the fact that they arent really "dominant" and they rely on a pitcher who is 41 years old to get them out of slumps. And just like last year they will wear down and choke in the post season.
I let you decide because I am to much of a homer...