I still can’t believe the Central is turning into a two team race and it’s the REDS battling the Cards for the division lead. I felt in the beginning of the year that the Cubs are probably in a position where they are just too brittle and a little too old to really contend. I picked them to win it all (of course) however deep down I knew it would take something more than a miracle to make it happen. Sure, adding Castro was exciting and brought the team’s average age down a bit but in the end, he’s part of a team struggling to find a way to make it over the hump and win on a consistent basis along with the Cards and Cincinnati.
We’re not in a very good position looking up at the Reds with our star third baseman changing his batting grip because he’s too hurt to hit the way normally does and has for over a decade now. It’s not good that that same player is openly speaking to the fact that the entire locker room is filled with guys playing through pain. Look at the calendar. It’s only June 23rd. We haven’t even hit the all-star break yet. We haven’t even made any significant dent in the dog days of Summer. We’re eight games back, too fragile, too old and too unlucky. Piniella is hoping we hit a streak leading up to the big game. Why wouldn’t he? Of course he does. He’s a winner and he wants to win. However I don’t see it happening with this squad in 2010.
Piniella recently mentioned the team is 10-16 in one-run games this year when a reporter brought it up. 26 games so far this year that the team was in and yet we fall six games under five hundred in those contests. Intangibles and luck win you one-run games and we are falling short in both cases.
Lilly started the season late and while physically present, has really shown up in the stat or win column the way we need him to. Chances are Carlos Silva will be the team’s lone representative in the All-Star game on July 13th in Anaheim. I’ve said it before and will say it again. Carlos Silva?!? If he’s the best we’ve got….the guy no one expected much from except to show up to the Cubs like aspirin and help rid us of a headache…then we are in big trouble.
Remember a couple years ago when the NL All-Star team was flooded with Cubs? I attended the all-star parade that year here in New York and it was awesome to see our favorite Cubbies rolling down the Avenue of the Americas representing the best of the NL and the Cubs team with the most potential since the flip of the new milennium (yes I believe our 2007 and ’08 squads were better than the ’03 team). Now we’re simply shells of our former potential. The last names are the same but the guys in those uniforms are simply beyond their true opportunity to win it all. It’s sad really but without significant moves or a stroke of dumb luck, once again this will not be our year.
This is that weird time of the baseball season where it’s too late to say it’s early and it’s too early to say it’s too late. However this team needs to dig deep and make things happen quick. Find a way to get on base and score some runs to support our rotation. Find a way to win one-run ballgames and of course when possible, enjoy being on the right side of a blow out.
Some big series are coming up and lots of baseball left to play, but boy, oh boy…it is time to dig in and start looking like contenders. Cincy and St. Louis aren’t messing around and aren’t going to wait around for Chicago to get it’s act together.
Almost feels like it’s time to get that Cubbie swagger back that they had a couple years back, basically refusing to lose and just plowing ahead all about winning. I went to Mets/Tigers tonight and the Mets improved on their home field advantage driving their record at home to 26-10. They are a team that seems to have figured it out and are simply refusing to lose at home. You can see a confidence in everything they do. Winning breeds confidence of course, but I also believe a little bit of confidence or swagger might do the Cubs some good as well. Going back in a couple weeks to see the Reds when they come to town. Will be interesting to see one of baseball’s biggest surprise up close and personal.
On a personal note, things have been crazy lately as I’ve been completely baby crazy. Found out that my wife and I are having a little BOY come October. A BOY. So cool. Can’t wait to take the little guy to Citi Field and experience the great game of baseball. Of course a trip to Wrigley is on deck as soon as possible too. Never too early to catch a game at the greatest park in all of baseball. A wild summer of hoping for playoff baseball and figuring out how this baby stuff is going to work come October.
This Fall is going to be exciting regardless with the little guy on the way…but throw in some playoff baseball and never mind blowing my mind. My head might explode. Go Cubs Go!