Friday, August 15th, 2008

Magic Number: 37

Today is Friday, August 15, 2008 and the Chicago Cubs' Magic Number is 37. I am sure there are two possible responses for that statement.

1. It's August 15. That's way too early to start talking about Magic Numbers.

2. What's a Magic Number?

It's probably better to address the second question first. For the Humzooers who are not baseball fans, the Cubs' Magic Number is any combination of Cubs victories and Milwaukee Brewers (since they are in second place) losses needed for the Cubs to clinch the National League Central Division.

Since I have a Brewers fan in the house, and a few additional exist in Humzooland, the Milwaukee Brewers' Magic Number for the National League Wild Card is 37 too. That is any combination of Brewers victories and St. Louis Cardinals losses.

To answer the first question, yes, you're probably right. The problem is that this season is probably the Cubs' best opportunity to march through the playoffs and win the National League. Also, I am looking forward to a Cubs/Brewers playoff series, though that is not possible until the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

Back-to-back-to-back-to-back homeruns

On a side note, did you hear about the White Sox game on Thursday? The White Sox hit four consecutive home runs. They became the sixth team in MLB history to accomplish this feat, and it was the first time for the White Sox. Jim Thome started the fireworks with a three-run homer, then Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe followed.

They won't make it, never have never will.
hawkwolf   Friday, August 15, 2008
Well, I'll try to be more positive than the last poster.... lol!

Thanks for the info and the consideration to add the Brewers number as well in your post. Did you "do the math" or did you see that number somewhere? Either way, I'm impressed.

This will be an exciting next month and a half for sure. There was an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning that said the Brewers mailed out info to season ticket holders about playoff tickets. I hope they didn't jinx themselves. That did happen last year...
Carrie   Friday, August 15, 2008
That is pretty early to bring out a magic number. haha. That makes the final stretch even longer.
Ben H   Friday, August 15, 2008
I usually don't start looking seriously at the standings until after the All-Star break. Don't look at the magic number until maybe Sept. But what the heck. I'd like to see the Cubs win the next 37 straight and clinch. :)

Bill, today I thought you'd be writing about the decision to start using limited instant replay.
SallyPants   Friday, August 15, 2008
The Magic Number dropped to 36 with the Cubs' win over the Marlins tonight.

@Carrie: Glad to include the Brewers on my blog. I'd love to have both teams in the playoffs. Just imagine if the Sox win the AL Central. We'd be Midwest heavy in the post-season. Honestly, I looked up the number on They list it as the "Elimination Number" in the standings.

@SallyPants: I have mixed feelings on instant replay. I think a better solution is to extend the width of the foul poles. At Wrigley Field, the Cubs have a yellow metal fence that extends a few feet high. If they extended that the entire height of the pole, that would help immensely. Also, something happened when the Cubs installed the new basket a few years ago. The umpires never had an issue if a home run was a home run or not.
Bill Pearch   Friday, August 15, 2008
Since the Dodgers beat the Brewers last night in Los Angeles, the Magic Number dropped to 35.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, August 16, 2008
A magic number to a fall dissapointment. Maybe they can win at least one game in the first round this time!
Chris   Saturday, August 16, 2008
@Chris: Yes, especially since I had tickets (fortunately free) to Game 4 at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs just wasted a golden opportunity to break through against the Marlins in the seventh inning. Base loaded with two outs and Derrek Lee up as a pinch hitter.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, August 16, 2008
The Cubs rallied late on Sunday to beat the Marlins, 9-2. Let's drop that number to 34.
Bill Pearch   Sunday, August 17, 2008
With the Brewers' loss this afternoon, the Cubs are down to 33. Since the Cardinals lost to the Reds, the Brewers' wild card number is down to 35.
Bill Pearch   Sunday, August 17, 2008
The Magic Number for a division-leading Major League Baseball team is simply 163 minus the number of wins the first place team has, then minus the number of losses the second place team has:

M = 163 - W1 - L2

So as of today the :
Cubs are 76-48
Brewers are 71-54
Cardinals are 70-57

So based on the above formula the Cubs number to win the division is:

to win the wild card:
RickMonday   Monday, August 18, 2008
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