The Cubs Face Life Without Rammy
Assuming Aramis Ramirez is out of the Cub lineup for exactly 8 weeks from this past Friday night, he'll be back for the July 4th game between the Cubs and Brewers at Wrigley Field, the third game of a four-game series.
In the interim, the Cubs will play 48 games, including all 15 of their interleague games against AL Central teams. Ramirez will also miss 20 games against NL Central opponents and the one and only visit by the Dodgers to Wrigley Field, which, owing to other, non-injury events, will now be completely Ramirez-free.
Here is what the next 8 weeks hold for the Cubs and their two leading division rivals:
|Games from now through 7/3||50||48||48|
|— Home games||27||24||24|
| — Away games
| — Games vs. winning teams
| — Games vs. losing teams
| — Games vs. other two
6 v. Milw; 3 v. Cubs
6 v. StL; 2 v. Cubs
3 v. StL; 2 v. Milw
Not even 20% into the '09 season, the differences between many "winning teams" and losing ones is pretty slight. That said, it's heartening to look at the Cubs' schedule and see the Padres, Astros, Pirates, and White Sox coming up, while the Cards' workload these next eight weeks includes nine games against the Brewers, home-and-home series with the up-and-coming Royals, and a four-game set with the Mets in New York.
None of this is going to make it any easier to see Mike Fontenot, Bobby Scales, and Ryan Freel patrolling Ramirez's rightful place at third base for the next couple months. But it's the best I can come up with right now.