The first week of April started out rough. April overall wasn’t great. Idiots questioned Kris Bryant’s baseball abilities. Javy Baez carried the team offensively with an assist from Willson Contreras. By mid-May, the Cubs were among the elite, prompting the signing of closer Craig Kimbrel. The front office was all-in for a run at a championship. Despite losing series against Houston and the Dodgers that gave pause, I felt the Cubs could go into battle with any top team, given the talent on hand. Kyle Hendricks was unbeatable for a stretch. Cole Hamels, too. Kris Bryant made the All-Star team & the idiots pretended they’d always supported him.
They came out of the break hot…then went cold. A trade for a hitting machine named Nick Castellanos solidified the lineup & added yet another threat to opposing pitchers. The roller coaster continued, however. String of wins, string of losses, road woes, home wins. Kris Bryant hit clutch home game-winning home runs, the idiots made sure to cheer the loudest.
Players weekend was unpleasant – and not because of the unpopular all-white uniforms. Dave Martinez and his Washington Nationals marched in and dominated on a sunny Wrigley weekend. Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon & Trea Turner notched timely hits and the Cubs were outmanned and outplayed in every phase of the game. It’s one thing to be overwhelmed by the Dodgers or Astros in L.A. or Houston, but for the post-Bryce Nats to push the Cubs around in Chicago? That seemed unthinkable until it happened.
St. Louis now sits in first place by 2.5 games. Baseball is a weird game. Sure, the Cards have Paul Goldschmidt – who may or may not be better than Rizzo, it’s close – but no way they’re better than the Cubs at any other position. But somehow, they’ve gone from a shitty defensive team to one of the best in MLB and put together a high-flying August. Luckily, the Cubs have a bundle of games left against StL and Milwaukee. It’s still their division to win. They can easily do it. They’ve got the soldiers. Just need the Ws to go along with it. Winning the Central is the goal right now. We’ll get Contreras back from injury soon, which helps. Zobrist returns from divorce sabbatical on September 1. His very presence should make a culture difference. Fight through and beat the division rivals. Get to the playoffs and get hot. This team can beat any contender in any given series if they give themselves the opportunity. Like the 2005 White Sox, who stumbled into the playoffs, barely escaping Cleveland – then went 11-1 in the postseason.
Big games in New York against the Mets beginning Tuesday night. Let’s get one at a time. Go Cubs.