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Alone in First

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Sep 14, 2007 2:09PM

2007_09_sports_aramis_ramirez.jpgWith barely two weeks to go in the regular season, the Cubs remain in the thick of the playoff hunt and regained sole possession of first place on Thursday by beating the Houston Astros 6-2 on the strength of a four run first inning and four total home runs. The victory gives them a half game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, who were idle on Thursday.

The Cubs now head into St. Louis for a four game series. While the Cards had pulled themselves into the race as well a few weeks ago, they've lost seven straight to fall five games off the pace. They'd have to sweep the Cubs to have any sort of realitic shot at the division crown. But what's the liklihood of that, considering they haven't won since the Rick Ankiel comeback fairytale became the Rick Ankiel HGH scandal.

So it looks like it's going to be a two team race between the Cubs and Brewers. The Cubs have 16 games left to play, while the Brewers have 17 left. The Cubs clearly have the easier schedule down the stretch with games against Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Florida after the Cards series. Will the Cubs pull away over these last handfull of games and lock up the title before the season's final weekend? Will we be looking at a winner-takes-all playoff between the Cubs and Brewers? Or will the Cubs curse rear its ugly head in some unexpected fashion once again?