The Cubs are really starting to surprise fans and critics alike with their recent pace. Unfortunately this is kind of proving GM Jim Hendry’s point of that the Cubs can be good with little change to the current roster. The Cubs have been so terrible this season, most fans were clamoring for October and not for the Fall Classic, but the start of the Blackhawks season. However, the developments of this past week on the northside have given anywhere from a false hope for next year to down right crazy talk of winning out and going to the World Series.
If the Cubs were to shake off all the demons, monkeys, and curses, I find the crazy talk scenario the down right perfect way to end the century-plus old Antarctica of a desert that has been our struggle to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy at the end of a long frustrating journey. Since I am currently deep in the heart of S.F. Giants territory, they were complaining about the torture that team has put them through that ended last year. I always remind them that 50-plus is nothing compare to wilderness not only Cubs fans, but also Red Sox fans endured waiting their day in the sun.
If by some miracle of all miracles happens this year, the Cubbies would supplant the 2004 Red Sox as the greatest come back in MLB history. Like before ’04, no team has ever come back from as deep as the Cubs were down before last Sunday’s game against the hated St. Louis Cardinals. At the time, the Cubs were 23 games below .500 and 20.5 games back in the standings, but since then they have gone to 16 games below .500 and are now only 15 games back.
As I mentioned in my spot on the first 3-game hot streak, a few teams have come back from double digit deficits in the standings to claim a division title. In order for the Cubs to do so, they not only have to stay hot at the plate, but the rotation and bullpen need to remain solid. While I know we can’t win every single game, it is possible to win every series. After this series with the Reds, the next 4 series are against the Nationals, Braves, Astros, and Cardinals. Three of the four will be the crucial ones if the Cubs want to go from spoiler to outside shot at the weak N.L. Central. If the Cubs can go say 9-4 in the next 13 games (including Sunday’s game against the Reds) then that would put the Cubs at a 58-69 mark and at best in a tie for 3rd, at worst 4th considering the free fall the Cubs have continued to place the Pirates. Again on the “if parade” they could place the Reds in a free fall of their own and have sole possession of the 3rd spot that would add pressure on the Cardinal series.
The only bad news about the proposed hot streak is that the Ricketts would probably extend Hendry’s contract and would most likely keep Mike Quade around for a few more years. This is how having a short-term memory can hurt a team in the long run. The lack of dealings at the trade deadline will hurt even more if Hendry is kept as GM. The moral of the streak story is be careful what you wish for because you may get it when you don’t want it.