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Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Stretch Run

If you're a Cubs fan life is pretty good. Despite a 6-1 loss to the Astros last night, as we head into September the team is in first place in the central division and although the Cardinals have looked stronger in the past month, little about the Redbirds or the Brewers is particularly scary. In addition Alfonso Soriano is back from the DL, Cliff Floyd from the berevement list and both Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee, who together have supplied much of the offense, are apparently healthy and on the field. Carlos Marmol continues to mow down opposing hitters and Rich Hill and Carlos Zambrano continue to be mostly effective.

So in celebration of entering the final month in first here is the complete list of other occasions on which the Cubs found themselves tied or in first at the close of September 1st along with their record on that day and a comment on each season.

Year W L T Pct Comments
1989 75 59 0 0.560 Win the division and then dispatched by Will Clark
1984 81 54 0 0.600 Win the division and then …
1945 76 47 1 0.618 Lose to the Tigers in a 7-game WS
1929 84 41 4 0.672 Win 98 games but lose to the A's 4-1 in the WS
1918 83 44 2 0.654 Lose to Ruth's Red Sox in the WS
1914 63 57 2 0.525 Fade to 78-76, 16.5 games behind the Miracle in 4th place
1912 79 43 1 0.648 Finish 91-59 but finish 11.5 games behind the Giants in 3rd place
1909 80 38 1 0.678 Win 104 games but Wagner's Pirates win 110
1907 89 33 1 0.730 Win 107 and beat the Tigers in the series
1906 92 31 3 0.748 116 wins but lose in the WS 4-2 to the White Sox
1904 69 46 3 0.600 Go 93-60 but finish 13 games behind the Giants

Yes, just twice in my lifetime has it been the case that the Cubs weren't looking uphill or in many cases up a sheef cliff face as the calendar turned. In fact, this season marks just the 20th time the Cubs have had a .500 record or better on September 1st since 1945 and the fourth time this decade. So while there is always a feeling of impending doom in the soul of a Cubs fan, today is a good day and we'll leave it at that.

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