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Strategies to Retain Interest, Part One

Incoporating the results of today's Cubbies matinee:

NL Central Since May 30
 
Team 5/30 Since Pct Home Road GB
Houston 18-32 13 -  7 .650 9 - 2 4 -  5 ---
St. Louis 33-17 12 -  9 .571 4 - 2 8 -  7 1.5
Chicago 25-24 11 -11 .500 4 - 5 7 -  6 3.0
Pittsburgh 22-27 10 -11 .477 8 - 4 2 -  7 3.5
Milwaukee 24-26 9 -13 .409 4 - 3 5 -10 5.0
Cincinnati 21-30 8 -13 .381 8 - 5 0 -  8 5.5

Which of course means that we should tie the Cardinals for first place 108 games into the 2007 season. But still, there's no denying the restorative nature of the chart above for the average Astro fan.

I know that worse teams than this one are capable of little streaks, and I know that I should not be taking the current run overly seriously but gosh darn it, I can't help it.

We're different from those other teams, see? We're different from the '61 Phillies and the '62 Mets and the '03 Tigers and all the rest of 'em because we have bankable starting pitching. One to three, it gets no better. Four is capable during any given night to be as dominant as our ace, and five, well, five is looking up. All you have to do is be passable offensively with this kind of pitching. . .and lately, sure, we've been a little better than passable: we've actually been mildly praiseworthy.

The flu that ravaged the Houston clubhouse is finally a fading memory, and we can blame a lot of May on the flu, can't we? And other parts of May? Well, we can blame them on Ezequiel Astacio. He's gone, too. I think I can convince myself that the bullpen is finding its legs. And Berkman's getting stronger every day, and Burke should start hitting any day, now. . . .

Listen, man, after the Cubs-Brewers, the Astros are a game out of third, and only seven out of the wild card.

Think about that for a second.

Bring on the senseless hope, baby!

And then dash it.