ER: The Cubs Wing
What a way to start a new week. The Cubs just finished off three series against their closest rivals and barely hung on with a 7-6 record, yet somehow managed to increase their division lead by one game. Go figure.
Today they announced that catcher, Willson Contreras will be on the IL for at least four weeks with a pulled hamstring. Of course they just traded their most reliable backup catcher Martin Maldonado last week and now are down to two guys you wouldn't want leading your college teams staff. Hello waiver wire.
As if that wasn't bad enough news, they just sent out a press release saying their closer, Craig Kimbrel, is going on the IL with a right knee inflammation. Back to closing by committee it seems. I wonder how he inflamed his knee since he's only been in about 14 games since we got him? Doing crunches in the bullpen?
While the Cubs have been mostly average recently, the Brewers and the Cardinals have luckily been mostly below average at the same time. Do you think the Braves and Dodgers are sitting around trying to figure out how they can make sure they face the Cubs in the first round of playoffs?
Tonight they begin to close out the home stand with three against the red hot Oakland A's. If you haven't seen this team play you might be surprised at how solid they are. They will give the Cubs all they can handle this series. While they focus on the A's, in the back of their minds they are looking ahead to having to go to Cincinnati to play four against their nemesis, the Reds.
They close out the road trip in the great state of Pennsylvania, playing three against the fading Phillies and three against the Pirates. This is going to be a nail biter of a week and a half. If they can come thru this stretch still in first place it should be a good sign for the beloved.
With mounting injuries, mediocre baseball being played, and the annual dog days of August upon us, this is a time to survive. They can't afford to lose any more starters and they can't afford to go on another stretch of .500 baseball. They need to reclaim their killer instinct and start stepping on the throats of other teams when they have them down.
I'm not feeling too good myself. NURSE!