4-game sweeps are always fun

Despite watching only a batter here and there, I wanted to watch this series. For one thing, I figured the Cubs would finally put an end to all of this Pirates as a contending team stuff to rest. They did. Second, it had been awhile since I really sat down and watched Cubs baseball and figured I had enough distance at this point so that I could just enjoy the game for what it is: a game. That I did. Finally, for some reason I really thought the Cubs were going to play good baseball this series. Part of that was because I fully expected them to put an end to the Pirates hopes of contending and part of it was just one of those feelings that you get. They played good baseball.

Zambrano had a solid start, Wells easily had the best start of his season, Garza was dominating, the Cubs scored some runs, ran the bases well for the most part, didn’t fuck up too much defensively and just seemed the superior team. It’s been awhile since we can say that about the Cubs. It’s probably going to be awhile before we can say it again unless they invest large sums of money in the club this offsesaon.

Sweeping a team in 4 games is very tough to do. If we say the two clubs were evenly matched, ignore home field advantage, we basically have a coin flip for each game. The odds of one team sweeping the series would be 6.25%. There’s a reason the Cubs haven’t swept the Pirates in Pittsburgh over 4 games since 1959. It’s not easy to do. That, and there probably haven’t been that many 4-game series in Pittsburgh between these two teams.

If we apply a 5% home field advantage, we get the Pirates with a 55% chance of winning each game. We’re still considering the teams equal and ignoring starting pitchers. It’s good enough for our purposes. Now we’re down to 4.1%.

If somebody had just started watching baseball this series they’d probably think the Cubs were a pretty good team. They’d think much less of the Pirates, but that’s baseball. In small samples just about anything can happen. But I don’t care about the small samples. I made a point to watch Cubs baseball for the first time in some time and I quite enjoyed it.

To be honest, it reminded me of watching Cubs baesball much of my life. You know, seasons in which they’re not in contention. Yeah, those. It’s not as exciting as playoff bound baseball, but it’s baseball and it’s enjoyable just the same. I’m sure Tim will have a picture of the day coming up, but I wanted to at least say that I enjoyed 2011 Cubs baseball at one point. It was hard to do and it took a long time, but this series was a lot of fun.


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