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Game Thread #99: Breathing Room

For another week, the Cubs and Brewers have schedules operating in parallel.  We play the Reds for four days then the Cards for four games in three days; the Cubs go to St. Louis (after today's day off) followed by Cinci.  I don't know whether it's a good or bad thing that we have eight games in the space of their next six; it's a stress on our pitching staff, but it means that by the end of the week, we will have played three more games than they have, putting stress on their staff later on.

Tonight, it's Chris Capuano against Aaron Harang.  I'll always remember Harang as a one-time Brewers killer.  I may have told this story before, but when I was at the SABR convention in Cincinnati a few years ago, I went to a dinner with a bunch of guys, including the Assistant GM of the Reds at the time.  I didn't chat much with him, being at the other end of the table, but I did ask (plead?) what we'd have to do in order to never have to face Harang again.

More recently, Harang has been mediocre against the Crew; apart from a complete-game shutout last April, he's been beatable.  Capuano hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire either, but is coming off a solid start last week.  I'm not going to say anything about his track record against the Reds, because you don't want to know.

Finally, one of the many things I noticed looking at baseball-reference's game preview is that ten games ago, we were also 3.5 games up.  It seems like it's been much more of a roller-coaster than it really has been, and it's a reminder not to get too caught up in the day-to-day fluctuations in the standings.  The Brewers are going to slump a time or two between now and October, and the Cubs will as well.  It's the nice part of being the team in the lead: 3.5 isn't a lot, but all we have to do is be as good as the competition, even a little bit worse.

Go Brewers!