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Mark Madden

THE NUMBERS GAME

 
THE NUMBERS GAME
Posted July 22nd, 2013 @ 9:41am

*In his last six majors, TIGER WOODS is +23 in rounds 3 and 4.

I don’t think that’s going to be good enough to catch Jack Nicklaus.

Woods shot a 74 in the final round of the British Open yesterday. He finished sixth. Phil Mickelson shot a 66. Mickelson won it.

Afterward, Woods said he is “very pleased with the way I’m playing.”

I just don’t see how that’s possible.

Woods can win every second-rate tournament. He can be rated No. 1. It doesn’t matter. Woods’ target is BEST GOLFER EVER, and the pressure of not having won a major since 2008 is clearly an albatross around his neck.

Woods used to dominate Saturday and Sunday. Now, he fades. He’s no longer Tiger Woods. He’s Greg Norman.

Woods’ mental block is exacerbated by foes no longer being intimidated. But mostly, it’s down to Woods. His clutch factor died when his image did.

*The Pirates are hitting .225 with runners in scoring position. That’s last in MLB.

I don’t think that’s going to be good enough to make the playoffs.

The Pirates’ slide continued when they came out of the All-Star break and lost two of three at Cincinnati. The Pirates have lost four of their last five series.

The Pirates desperately need to make a significant trade. They desperately need more offense. Mike McKenry (.190 average) keeps batting in big situations. McKenry shouldn’t be batting at all.

Enjoying their first winning season since 1992 seems inevitable. But a 57-39 record and a 7.5-game bulge over Los Angeles in the wild-card race raises the bar. The Pirates’ target is MAKING THE PLAYOFFS.

The Pirates are 4-6 in their last 10. The Dodgers are 8-2 in their past 10. Repeat that two more times and the Dodgers pass the Pirates. It could be that simple.


Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

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