The Cubs have lost 5 of their last 9. That includes 2 losses in a 3 game set against division rival Milwaukee, followed by this weekend’s series against San Francisco, where the Cubs dropped another 2 out of 3.
Now Chicago travels to St. Louis for 3 more. The Cardinals are 3rd in the division, sitting only one game behind 2nd place Pittsburgh, but nevertheless are 7 games behind Chicago. As of late, St. Louis hasn’t been all that impressive either. In their last 9, the Cardinals have lost 5 as well. And, like the Cubs, the Cards dropped 2 out of 3 series during that span. Unlike the Cubs, St. Louis is entering the tail end of a long home stretch, while Chicago enters the tail end of a road swing.
To me, this is a potential red flag if you’re a Cubs fan. What worries me is that the clubhouse is probably not the most chipper place to be right now, and when you’re on the road that is no bueno. It’s easy for these guys to let their focus slip and start daydreaming about getting back to Chicago, where they can kind of close the book on the last stretch. If the Cubs are going to avoid dropping their 3rd series in a row, they’d better pull some determination out of their asses and forget about the oh-so-welcoming sight of the Phillies @ Wrigley on the schedule. Right now is the time to worry about the St. Louis Cardinals.
All that being said, Lackey, Hammel, Arrieta is music to my ears. These 3 have been studs for us this season, and last time we were in St. Louis 2 of these guys pitched: Lackey and Hammel. We lost the 3rd game with Hendricks on the hill. Look for that NOT to happen as Jake goes for 9-0.
The problem has clearly not been the rotation, or the bullpen for that matter. Over the last 7 days the Cubs have played 6 games. In those 6, they’re batting .197 — with 8 home runs. In this recent stretch, the Cubs have relied crazy heavily on the long ball. Again, this is no bueno.
But I’ve got hope, and you should too. These guys are as talented a group as you could assemble. They’ll hit again. And again, and again.
PREDICTION: W, L , W