Category: NL Central

Re-view of the Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

First off, here, is the link to the entry.

Predicted Record: 60-65 wins
Actual Record: 72-90

I guess all of those extra wins I had going for the Cubs actually went to the Pirates. Imagine if the Pirates had kept up their initial pace? They would probably be in the upper 80s. So really, the only explanation I have for the Pirates stepping up there game and coming within 10 games of .500 is their pitching was way above what the parts they brought in would have suggested. Heck, I didn’t even include the player that was arguably the Pirates’ MVP for the first half in Kevin Correia. He was acquired in the offseason, but I didn’t even think he was going to have THAT much of an impact.

Their offense was never really explosive, so when the pitching started to decline, the team started going in the wrong direction, because they weren’t scoring enough runs to come their deficits. However, they are, like the many years before that, a young team, and can always improve if they just KEEP THEIR PLAYERS. I don’t know how the Pirates plan to compete (well I don’t know if they actually have any desire to actually try and compete, but that’s a different discussion for a different time, which I alluded to in the Recap and preview entry) with them constantly trading away their young talent just when they are a bout to approach free agency.

That’s pretty much it…I don’t know how many ways I can say that the Pirates did better than I thought.

Re-view of the Preview: Chicago Cubs

First of all, here, is the first entry.

Predicted Record: 77-82
Actual Record: 71-92

I really didn’t expect to get this prediction right. For whatever reason, the Cubs have always been a sort of an enigma to me. I can never really figure them out. I am an East coast guy,but I also like looking into the lower profile teams, and I guess the Cubs really fit into neither of these. For example, I never knew of Aramis Ramirez or Mark DeRosa until three years ago. I had absolutely no idea who they were.

I actually was pretty close given that my predicted record was predicated on the rotation returning to its predicted potential with Zambrano and Silva, neither of which lived anywhere near their expectations. Other than this, I can’t really say much. I didn’t go to a single Cubs game. I went to close to 50 games last year. So to say I didn’t see the Cubs at all is a bigger statement than it seems.

I guess that’s it…

Re-view of the Preview: Houston Astros

First of all, here, is the initial entry.

Predicted Record: 60-65 wins
Actual Record: 56-106

I actually thought that I was being a little tough on the Astros when I predicted this record range. The Astros were just that horribly bad. Like I began the entry, I think that it was mostly, because the Astros lost their two faces of the franchise. Then during the season, they lost one of the two remaining faces of the franchise in Hunter Pence. Now who are the two big faces of the Astros? Carlos Lee, and Wandy Rodriguez. Not your ideal two.

The youth wasn’t really an advantage for them this year as there really didn’t seem to be enough leadership in the clubhouse, and the inexperience got the best of this team. Yes, they do have a very clean slate to work from with no long-term deals other than Carlos Lee existing, but they do have to get some players with which to win, but this is a conversation for another entry.

So, the Astros mediocrity came from them clearing too much house in 2010-11.

Re-view of the Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

First of all, here ( is the entry.

Predicted Record: 85-90 wins
Actual Record: 96-66

I really thought that the Brewers lost enough talent to hinder their progress made in the acquisitions. What I didn’t account for is the progress their players would make. Both Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun were better than they were in 2010. I don’t know how much better the numbers were, but they were both MVP candidates while none was in 2010.

I think that most of the reason is that I got this prediction so wrong (which wasn’t that wrong, relatively speaking) is becauseI was stuck on how many net wins I thought they had added. Actually, if you go by the net wins last offseason, I might have actually been a little optimistic, because they lost so many player last season. Sure, they weren’t top-of-the-line players, but they were mostly above average, and not players you are dying to get rid of.

All in all, I made a good intellectual decision, but if you followed this team, there was something magical about this team. Some were put off by how they expressed it, but they had some true synergy, which is why I picked them for the World Series once the Phillies got knocked out. I think that they would have appeared there too, if they hadn’t run into a team that was a little more magical.

I visited Milwaukee in August, and I can’t think of a better, louder environment than I was in. I think the fans could feel how special this team was, too. I’ve always kinda of liked the Brewers, and I’m disappointed what has happened to them with the loss of Fielder, and the probable loss of Braun.

Re-view of the Preview: Saint Louis Cardinals

First off, here, is the link to the initial entry.

Predicted Record: 80-85 wins

Actual Record: 90-72

I actually wrote this entry a little after Adam Wainwright went down to Tommy John Surgery. So, had I written the entry in early March, I probably would have been almost right on. Even though I made a small deal about him going down in the entry, I was slightly doubting my decision to do so. Just the previous season, Wainwright was one of the top 5 pitchers in the National League, if not all of baseball. I think the reason is that I didn’t react as much as I should have, is that the Cardinals had what I perceived to be a really good rotation other than Wainwright.

I think the obvious answer, for those who pay closer attention to Baseball, as to why the Cardinals did succeed like they did was Lance Berkman. They got a player they thought to be on a downward slope and ended up with a near MVP candidate. He wasn’t the NL Comeback Player of the Year for nothing. Personally, the Cardinals were one of the two top road teams I saw in 2011, if not the top road teams I saw, and Lance Berkman was the guy to hit a ball to me in Right Field of whatever stadium I was in.

All this said, the Cardinals were very lucky to make it into the playoffs. They were a below average team in the first half of the season, and had the Braves won two of their last 5, they wouldn’t have had the chance to make it into the playoffs. Also, although I congratulate them for winning and appreciate what a World Series they gave us, the Cardinals winning the World Series yet again with the lowest win total in the NL just goes to show why it is meaningless to win as many games as possible during the season when even the worst team can win the playoffs (World Series). Basically, that’s it.

Re-View of the Preview: Cincinnati Reds

First off, here, is the entry in question.

Predicted Record: 85-90 wins

Actual Record: 79-83

I really don’t know where to start with this entry. For whatever reason, I detailed the Reds losing talent at almost every position, yet I only downgraded them one win. In addition, I should have expected either a fluctuation up or down with this team because of their youth. I should have put this in the first entry as a provision in the first entry.

This is the only way I can explain being off by the amount I was off by. Other than that I really have nothing to say. I wish I did, I’m kind of disappointed by how short this entry is.