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Series Forty-Two: Marlins at Brewers

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On the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' [baseball] with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again,
And I can't wait to get on the road again.

Those of course are the (semi-altered) lyrics from Willie Nelson's classic On the Road Again.

I don't know about you, but I sure didn't expect this series with the Brew Crew to have playoff implications.

: Welcome back, Bernie! Did you think we'd be looking at playoff (wild card) implications when we got together for this series?

: To be quite honest, no, I didn't. I thought the Marlins would be in playoff contention, but I thought the Brewers were a year or so away.

Granted, the Brewers are on the outside looking in. They're "only" six games back. But they're also three games under .500.

As we talked about before, once Brady Clark, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, and Prince Fielder get some experience under their belts, this will be a team to fear.

: What should we fear for the time being?

: Chris Capuano's pick off move. He's leading the league in pickoffs. Juan Pierre and crew should be on the lookout for him tonight.

: I can almost match that with a fun stat - although you won't face this guy in this series: Dontrelle Willis, after seeing 12 runners steal against him in 2004, has only allowed one stolen base in 2005.

: That's got to at least be partially due to the fact that he hardly allows anyone on base.

: True. And I'm sure Paul LoDuca is a big fan of that.

: Speaking of LoDuca, who's going to throw to him next year.

: Interesting question. The top three will likely be Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, and Jason Vargas. A.J. Burnett is as good as gone. What's interesting is Barry Jackson's recent revelation that the Marlins could have signed Burnett, Willis, and Beckett to long term deals at reasonable prices before the start of this season. In fact, they could have contracted the trio for all of next year for about the same amount that they "invested" in Al Leiter this year.

: Maybe the Brewers will sign A.J. this offseason.

: Sorry, Bernie - but I think the Brewers have a better shot of winning the World Series this year than they do of landing A.J. this offseason.