To say things have gone downhill fast for the Chicago Cubs would be a huge understatement. Even still, all hope isn’t lost.
How quickly things can change in just one weeks time. At this time last week, the Chicago Cubs looked to be sitting pretty as they held a two-game lead for the second wild card and had an “easy” series in Colorado before playing a huge series in Arizona. Well, it was a brutal week as they went 1-5 to drop out of an outright Wild Card spot for the first time in a while.
They also saw their playoff odds drop below 50% for the first time in weeks. Still, they aren’t out of it just yet, although things aren’t looking great. Just a heads up, I’m excluding the Phillies from this as they basically have their spot locked up. With all that said, let’s take a look at where everyone stands with just two weeks of regular season left to be played.
Arizona Diamondbacks: 79-72, .5 game ahead of Cubs and Marlins 1 game ahead of Reds. Tiebreaker over Cubs
Remaining Schedule: 2 vs SF, 3 @ NYY, 3 @ CHW, 3 vs HOU
After looking sluggish in the big apple against the Mets, the D-Backs came home and got a huge series sweep over the Cubs to take over the second wild card spot. Even more impressive for them is they didn’t even need Gallen or Merril Kelly to get it done and they can now line them up to face the Giants on Tuesday and Wednesday basically putting the nail in the Giant’s coffin.
Miami Marlins: 78-72, .5 games back of Diamondbacks, tied with Cubs, .5 games ahead of Reds. Tiebreaker over Cubs, Reds, Diamondbacks.
Remaining Schedule: 3 vs NYM, 3 vs MIL, 3 @ NYM, 3 @ PIT
The fish just played their best series of the season sweeping the Braves this weekend at home. After the bats fell asleep losing three of four in Milwaukee to start the week, they awoke and put up 46 runs in three games against Atlanta. The Marlins have been an amazing story season and with three tiebreakers over fellow Wild Card opponents, they find themselves in a great spot.
Chicago Cubs: 78-72 .5 game back of Diamondbacks, tied with Marlins, .5 game ahead of Reds. Tiebreaker over Giants
Remaining Schedule: 3 vs PIT, 3 vs COL, 3 @ ATL, 3 @ MIL
This was no doubt the worst week of Chicago Cubs baseball we’ve seen in months. Nearly being swept by Colorado and getting swept by the Diamondbacks have destroyed what looked to be a certain Cub playoff berth. Bad base-running decisions, mental lapses, and the inability to drive in runs have plagued this team as of late. All hope isn’t lost, but they have created an uphill battle for themselves needing to win and get some help.
Cincinnati Reds: 78-73, 1 game back of Diamondbacks, .5 games behind Marlins and Cubs. Tiebreaker over Cubs and Diamondbacks.
Remaining Schedule: 3 vs MIN, 3 vs PIT, 2 @ CLE, 3 @ STL
The Reds might not have held a playoff spot in a long while, but they certainly haven’t faded away. They were able to win both of their series this past week thanks to their bullpen throwing some of the best innings of their season. With no head-to-heads against any of the opponents and being one back in the loss column, it won’t be easy.
San Francisco Giants: 76-74, 2.5 games back of Diamondbacks, 2 game back of Marlins and Cubs. Tiebreaker over Reds
Remaining Schedule: 2 @ AZ, 4 @ LAD, 3 vs SD, 3 vs LAD
Losing three of four in Colorado has nearly put their season on life support as they will have to jump three teams to earn a playoff spot. Not only that, they have the toughest schedule remaining of the bunch with seven against the West-leading Dodgers and two in the desert against the Diamondbacks. They will have to get hot and lucky in these coming weeks to make it in.
I wish this was a happier update, but this past week and a half have put the Chicago Cubs on the doorstep of yet another late-season collapse. They look like a team that has run out of energy. A team that has already given it all they had. Maybe I’m wrong and they’ll come home and the Chicago Cubs fans will reenergize them and they’ll get hot.
They have brought their season off life support at least once, so it’s possible. Even if they do get hot, it might not be enough, without some luck also involved, as they find themselves in a terrible tiebreaker situation and a Game 163 isn’t a possibility anymore. These next 12 games and two weeks will show us what this team is really made of.
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