The Cubs have weathered the bulk of their schedule facing bottom feeders for the rest of the seasons. The division hasn’t been decided yet with the Cubs finally getting to 10 over .500 in wins versus losses. Had they paid Aroldis Chapman they might be a bigger threat going into the post season. That wasn’t going to happen neither was signing Dexter Fowler whom I believe can drive the team with its leaky bullpen to the NLCS. Currently they’re built for a five game NLDS especially if their opponent is the Washington Nationals. Should we get to face the Dodgers which would be like climbing one great mountain to get to another one should they get past the Nationals and beat the Dodgers. The Houston Astros the odds on favorite to be the American League representative in the World Series.
I wouldn’t count out the Indians who are getting hot at the right time. Chances are not there for a rematch of 2016 because while the Cubs are hitting like they’re seeing beach balls their bullpen will lose them as many games as they could win with their bats.
Winning is going to be expensive going forward regarding the pitching staff and bullpen. The Cubs have the personnel to win for a long time in the future and compete for multiple championships in position players but pitching is not something that other teams are aiming to glean from the Cubs. Assuming they will not trade any of their position players on the major league roster I don’t believe there is enough in the minors to continue to bargain at future trade deadlines but as long as they are able to compete for the division they will benefit just by that.
They say it’s Cub when that used to mean a culture of losing top down. Every once in a while they’d have a star they’d call up or let walk for nothing. Or they get hearts to beating and then break those same hearts. Every team would say they have nothing to do with past losers but do it anyways. These boys however weren’t born through the worst of it or too young to ever consider they could break a century old curse. Believe me none of their fans did either. For most of them it’s been a bitch of a hundred years. Get so close and then flop. As a writer and still yet needing to be employed, in hospitality I realize that not very many hotels around know what it was like to host a world series since the end of world war 2. For three days last year it was torture.
We’ll leave it to doughy eyed children to believe the Cubs will repeat in 2017. There is still have the naiveté in believing that once you’re into the playoffs anything can happen considering I believed it was to be the Cubs and Blue Jays in 2016.
In order to win they’d have to throw pitchers on short rest which they didn’t have to do in 2016. No one wants to consider Jon Lester could have another ten run first inning blow up or that Lackey leads the league in home runs given up at least by a starting pitcher. It takes but one to sway the momentum of a game and turn a close game into a nine run inning. The Cardinals and Nationals know this. Quintana has been a great pick up as well as Avila from the Tigers but I believe home grown Chicago boy Curtis Granderson would’ve been as big a pick up. I could see Quintana in the role of an ace in a post season series this year he’s having a hard time dealing with success of run support he didn’t get with the White Sox.
For the rest of the season the Cubs have bottom feeders to face. If they’re not twenty games over .500 by October first and have ninety plus wins the writing is on the wall.
The realist in me says they will reach the ninety win bench mark feasting on Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and Atlanta. But as they'd shown in Philadelphia and Cincinnati that they can hit the ball to the next time zone one day and then cannot hit the ball out of the infield the next day. Jason Heyward is the name no one says because we’re stuck with him for six plus years more. The writers won’t see his name in trade rumors as no one will take on his contract for a history of doing what exactly? His defense what this year’s team has been said to be lacking but he is definitely bringing up the rear. He’s improved on his average but I can’t say he’s helping drive the machine.
The Cubs are however getting healthy at the right time with Russel and Hendricks and Contreras coming off the disabled list. Once again the position players are plenty and enough to club their way through the playoffs. So will the rest of the teams in the post season. Pitching will always win out.