Flying. And going down fast.

I’m on a plane, flying somewhere over Illinois, and guzzling a Pepsi -- something I’m now regretting because the crew gives you like five minutes to enjoy your beverage before the plane starts its dissent and they order you to put everything upright …

We’re on our way to Kansas City for the weekend. Tad’s finally settling down and getting married.

I’m thumbing through this week’s Sports Illustrated and the cover story about the faces of this year’s postseason ...

Man, will I be making runs to check the baseball scores at the bar room TV this weekend, or what!?

Forget the American League. It’s over. Done. All my teams got in -- minus the Tigers. Dang Yankees.

But the National League -- geez! All three division titles are virtually any team’s to win. The analysts I was listening to last night drove the point home even further by pointing out that all the NL teams could win more than 70 games this year, and few will reach the 90 loss mark. That's unheard of. The teams are so evenly balanced that no team will win or lose 100 games this year …

Exciting? Uh, yeah! Love the balance.

Last night, the Phillies caught the A-fadin’ Mets (They’re on my short list of teams I enjoy rooting against -- behind the Yankees and Devil Rays. Sorry Matt.)

Then there’s the matter of those Brewers and Cubs. And it hasn’t been good for my heart.

In all honesty, I thought the Brewers were done when they lost two games they should’ve won and left Atlanta on Sunday.

Yet, most of the analysts I heard and read pointed to the schedule, which had the Brewers returning home, where they had one of the best records in baseball, and the Cubs going on the road to play tough teams in the Marlins and Reds

So I held hope.

Kates and our friend Tiffany and I went to Monday’s series opener against St. Louis. The Brewers had cut ticket prices in half to try filling the stadium (genius!) and slapped a “Raise the Roof!” tag on the series … It was a wild game, and the crowd was electric. Prince hit his 48th home run of the season, and Ryan Braun hit a bomb to left field for his 33rd. The Brewers dominated, and picked up a half game on the idle Cubs. Things were looking good.

Tuesday. We watched from our living room and it was like watching a rerun of Monday’s game. The Brewers dominated again. Prince hit Nos. 49 and 50. The Cubs lost, and now the Brewers were just two games back with five to play.

Then Wednesday came. Good lord. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from that one … The Brewers had left something like nine runners on base in first four innings and were down 3-2 in the eighth inning. Then Seth McClung throws at Pujols, which gets McClung and Ned Yost tossed -- and suspended. The Cardinals nailed Prince earlier in the game, and both teams were warned. But I find it hard to believe that any pitcher or manager in his right mind would risk throwing at a batter when your team is one run behind and this deep in a pennant race. Then again, that pitch flew at Pujols head like a magnet; McClung couldn’t have been that lucky. I’m thinking Tony LaRussa knew exactly what he was doing by throwing at Prince first and manipulating the game so that the Brewers couldn’t retaliate without consequence … Then Turnbow comes in and gives up four runs. Don’t even get me started on Turnbow’s woes …

Then last night's game, too. Ugh … I got home from work in time to watch the Cubs manage a come back and then fall to the Marlins again. I still held hope, especially while I drove to a meeting and listened to the pregame on the radio -- Tony Gwynn, who was broadcasting the San Diego side of the Brewers-Padres matchup, said on paper the series was Milwaukee's to win. (It was also amusing to listen to Gwynn talk about his enjoyment with watching his son play for the contending Brewers this year, and his commitment to removing his headset whenever his son steps to the plate ... ) ... But the Brewers failed again to grasp any opportunities to get ahead ...

A Brewers loss and a Cubs win tonight, and it's all over ...

Ay yay yay.

A look back at the live action ...
April 11: Angels-Indians ... at Miller Park!
April 22: Brewers-Astros
May 8: Cubs-Pirates ... and extra innings during the train ride home.
June 5: Brewers-Cubs ... at Wrigley Field North.
June 16: Cubs-Padres ... The weekend the Cubs finally got hot, literally.
July 21: Brewers-Giants ... The Bonds watch.
Aug. 10: Royals-Blue Jays
Aug. 14: Brewers-Cardinals ... with the legends.
Aug. 17: Cubs-Cardinals ... AND Brewers-Reds.
Sept. 2: Cubs-Astros
Sept. 5: Brewers-Astros
... and Monday night, Sept. 25.

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