(because looking backward sucks.)
We've been looking forward to it for a while--an easier schedule in August, not only compared to what we've faced lately, but compared to what our division rivals have to deal with. Here's how the month shapes up:
- Aug 1-3: @Braves (3 games) -- a better team than their record suggests, though hurt by losing Tim Hudson to injury and Mark Teixiera in a trade. (Hudson is bigger--Kotchman is a nice substitute at first.)
- Aug 4-6: @Reds (3 games) -- they lost Griffey but kept Dunn. The top of the starting rotation makes them a dangerous opponent no matter what, though.
- Aug 8-11: Nats (4 games) -- back home, and if we don't take three out of these four, we don't deserve to make the playoffs.
- Aug 12-14: @Padres (3 games) -- like the Braves, better than their record, but the Padres still aren't very good. One challenge will be relying on a homer-happy offense in Petco.
- Aug 15-17: @Dodgers (3 games) -- I'm not convinced Manny makes this team much better. He does, however, increase the average age of the starting lineup, which is what Joe Torre really wants.
- Aug 18-20: Astros (3 games) -- sounds easy, but that didn't go so well last time. And now they have LaTroy Hawkins. (uh...)
- Aug 22-24: Pirates (3 games) -- like the Nats series, we really should take this one. The Pirates are building for the future, which is great for Pittsburgh and good for baseball, but not likely to help the '08 Rats win 75 games.
- Aug 26-27: @Cards (2 games)
- Aug 29-31: @Pirates (3 games)
Lots of easy opponents, but plenty of road series. The situation reverses itself in September: 16 of 26 at home, but half of the 26 games are against the Mets, Phillies, and Cubs.