Bienvenue a la canicule!
ou, comme on dit en anglaise, welcome to the dog days. When I was growing up it always seemed to be June that was the death knell. The dreaded “June Swoon”. But for the last few years it seems like August presents the most problems. In 2009 they had a good August, 16-12, their second best month other than June (17-10). They had a 17 game stretch without a day off where they went 10-7. In 2010, they were only 13-15, their worst month of the year. Their longest stretch without a day off was 13, where they went 6-7. July (20-8) and September (18-8) were two of their best months and obviously lead to a satisfactory conclusion to the year. In 2011, they went 11-18, also their worst month. They were 17 games over .500 on 7/28 and had a 4.5 game lead on 7/20. By 8/9, that was all gone. July (15-11) and Sept (14-11) were good months (though June was the best at 17-11 and May not far behind at 16-12). But August killed them. Their long stretch came from 7/26-8/10, 16 games where they went 5-11 (3-7 in August). After that they had a 10 game stretch (4-6) and a 9 game stretch (4-5). All in all, some August’s to forget.
So what does this year look like? They play 29 games. 2 days off with a 15 game stretch that they are at the start of. They play 12 at home and 17 on the road. The hot, Midwest games are this weekend and next week at CO and STL. They also go to Houston (indoors?) and Chicago at the end of the month. My take is that they go: Mets (1-1 including last night, come on BZ!), @Col (2-1), @STL (1-3), COL (2-1), WSN (1-2), off, @SDP (2-1), @LAD (1-2), ATL (2-2), off, @HOU (2-1), and @CHC (1-1). So I think that’s fairly conservative 15-14 month.
I think the Dogs may go 16-12 (AZ, off, CHC, COL, off, @MIA, @PIT, @ATL, SFG, off, MIA, @COL, @ARZ) so we should still end up with a lead. Their longest stretch is 13 games, ending with the series with the Giants.
The DBacks have a brutal schedule. 14 at home, 16 away, with ONE day off from now until Sept 5 or so, including 1 doubleheader (at home vs. MIA). They play @PHI (3), @PIT (4), WSN (2), off, @STL (3), @HOU (3), MIA (5 w/DH), SDP (3), CIN (3), @LAD (4, 2 in Aug), @SFG (3, 0 in Aug). Couple this with last season’s post-season fatigue (remember the G’s in 2011), I think they fade.
So, the dog days begin. I have them with 15 wins and a 1 game lead at the end of it.