The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Cubs Fans: Settle the #@$& Down!

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The Chicago Cubs have won six games in a row!  Clear your calendar now so you have time to watch the World Series in October and see the Cubs hoist yet another championship banner!  You might as well call Merkle’s or The Cubby Bear or Murphy’s Bleachers or Yak-Zies and put down your $1200 to reserve a table so you can watch from Wrigleyville as the Cubs mutilate the _______ (insert name of hapless American League team).

Right.  Please.  Go ahead and do all of those things, and please tell me when you do so I can make a list of people who need a swift kick in the nuts.  Calm down, Cubs fans.  It’s only six in a row, and they all came against teams that were below .500, though Atlanta was .500 when the Cubs showed up at SunTrust Park.  If you want to be blindly ecstatic about anything, focus on the notion that all those wins came on the road, and for the first time this season the Northsiders swept two series in a row rather than vice-versa.  Otherwise, if you’re contracting an airplane to pull a banner over Chicago that reads “The Cubbies Are Back!”, save your money.  The Cubbies aren’t back.  They are slowly returning to where they should be this year but aren’t yet because of listless pitching, a few injuries, Joe Maddon’s bone-headed decision to bat Kyle Schwarber at lead-off, and management’s inability to find a solid lead-off hitter.

Still, one can’t help but feel the July heat and humidity is melting the ice that has locked the Cubs into mediocrity so far this season.   Let’s hope that the weather is the deciding factor here since it’s only going to get hotter in Chicago.  The Cubs picked up a new pitcher from across town and are looking to make a few more deals, but none of these things are a guarantee that the season is going to turn around to the point where we’ll find ourselves watching riveting baseball late into October.  The best things going for the Cubs right now are that the NL Central is weak, and that Milwaukee is destined to fade.  They are Milwaukee, after all, and have an inexperienced crew of players who are going to play inconsistently down the stretch.  These factors have already played heavily in the Cubs favor since they’ve moved from 5.5 games out of first place to 1 game out of first place in the week since the All-Star game.  To give you an idea of how tough the wild-card race is (i.e. the rest of the National League), the Cubs only gained one game in the wild-card standings in that span.

The Cubs’ next seven games come against sub-.500 teams, including the team with the worst record in baseball.  But these aren’t guaranteed wins since the teams are the Cardinals and White Sox.  If you want a feel for the intensity of those rivalries, go ahead and wear a Cubs jersey on the south side or in downtown St. Louis—you’ll wish for my swift kick in the nuts for over-celebrating instead of what you’ll get.  The best we can hope for is that the Cubs further the post-All Star break win streak.  Maybe they can put a foot on Redbird necks and keep it there for the rest of the season, and remind Southsiders why life is better north of the Eisenhower.  I’ll consider the next week successful if the Cubs come out 4-3.  Even 5-2 seems realistic.

We’ll know a lot more in about three weeks.  After next week, the Cubs play nine in a row and twelve of fifteen against division-leading or wildcard-leading teams.  So gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Cubbies.  Despite the recent success, the critical numbers remain anemic for a team with World Series potential.  The starting pitching has an ERA of 4.47, which is 7th in the National League (they were first last year with 2.96).   The team BA is .245, which is 13th (!) in the National League (they were 6th last year with .256).  Cubs pitchers barely register in the top twenty in wins, ERA, and K.  No batter is in the top twenty in BA, and only two are in the top twenty in RBI and HR.  Think the Cubs can use stategery and manufacture runs?  Maybe break something open on the base paths?  Don’t hold your breath.  They have stolen 31  bases this year (14th in the NL).  Their OBP looks good, but their lack of RBIs kinda pulls the rug out from underneath that (420; 9th in the NL).  Think about all this, and you’ll probably see why Cubs fans need to calm the #@$& down.

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Written by seeker70

July 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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