(or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Crunch Numbers....well, and still worry)
Going into the Nats series, Lou said that he was afraid that this could be a trap series. Meaning, the Cubs won two out of three at home from the league leader and were riding high, then they would go into the cavernous RFK stadium against one of the worst teams in the league and could very well choke.
They did not.
However, the Brewers went into fun PNC Park in Pittsburgh and they lost three out of four. And I started wondering why. My immediate answer was that the Cubs have a really good squad of vets. And then I started trying to figure out who are the vets on the Brewers. Sheets. Jenkins. That's all I could think of. And you know what? Neither of those guys has ever been to the postseason.
It is said that veteran players help. But more so it's the veteran players who have postseason experience that help the most. They've been there. They know the road and can help the kids who do not.
So, without further ado - some numbers.
(Note: these numbers are from the current 25-man rosters for the Cubs and Brewers)
Number of players to have been to the post-season
Brewers: 4 (Johnny Estrada, Damien Miller, Craig Counsel, Tony Graffanino)
Cubs: 14 (Eyre, Howry, Lilly, Marquis, Zambrano, Bowen(!), DeRosa, Izturis, Lee, Aram, DWard, Floyd, Jacque Jones, Soriano)
Number of total post-season games played by the current rosters:
Number of World Series won by players on current rosters:
Brewers: 3 (Miller with DBacks in 2001, Counsel with '97 Marlins and '01 DBacks)
Cubs: 2 (Lee with...well you know. Floyd with '97 Marlins)
It is not just the fact that the Cubs have 61 more games of experience in the post-season, but it is that so many of their players have been there.
Oh, and even our kids have been there. Theriot and Fontenot won the College World Series.
Okay, I do not like to be overexcited -- okay, maybe I do, but I think this is all very telling. And it could make for a very interesting second-half.