Let's go back to September 9, 2008, a week before the Brewers traveled to Chicago for a very important 3 game series. Milwaukee was just 4 1/2 games behind the Cubs, yet maintained a 3 game lead over the Phillies for the Wild Card. After blowing a save and picking up the loss in a 5-4 defeat against the Cincinnatti Reds, Torres opened up to the media and made the following comments.
"They are in the rearview mirror," Torres said of the Phillies, who entered Tuesday three games back of the Brewers. "If they were ahead, that's a different story. But we've still got the lead, so we cannot act like we are behind them. They need to worry, not us. And the Chicago Cubs, they need to worry, because we're going to get them. That's all I can say." - (Source MLB.com 09/09/2008 8:27 PM ET)
Now its September 18, 2008. Milwaukee has fallen 8 games behind Chicago for the N.L. Central, and more importantly for them a 1/2 game behind the New York Mets for the Wild Card, as Philadelphia took the lead in the N.L. East standings. Salomon Torres enters Thursday's game with a Brewers 6-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th. After quickly retiring Ryan Theriot and Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez doubled to center. Jim Edmonds would single, scoring Ramirez, and Mark De Rosa would also single. Suddenly the tying run would come to the plate. On the first pitch that Geovany Soto saw, he smacked a high fastball into the left center bleachers for a 3 run homer, tying the game at 6.
Chicago would end up winning the game 7-6 in 12 innings on Derrek Lee's walk off single that scored Jason Marquis who was pinch running for Daryle Ward. I wonder what Salomon Torres was thinking when Soto was rounding the bases on his game-tying home run? Did he remember his bold statements a week and a half earlier? Not a very good week for Torres. Instead of taking 2 of 3 from the Cubs, Milwaukee has now dropped 13 of 17 and are 1 1/2 games behind the Mets for the Wild Card. I wonder if Torres will come out and make any more bold predictions, this time involving the Mets?
For Chicago, Thursday's win means that with 11 games remaining, any combination of 2 Cubs wins or Brewers losses will result in the Cubs clinching the division for the second straight year. Chicago hasn't finished in first place in consecutive seasons since 1907-08, when they last won the World Series. Cubs fans can rest easy knowing that more than likely the last series in Milwaukee won't mean much for the Cubs, but could be do or die for the Brewers.