Today, in their 130th game of the 2012 season, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field to earn their 50th victory. The victory came complete with a Carlos Marmol win and an Alfonso Soriano walkoff hit. The victory also prevented the Cubs from being swept by the Brewers again, which in this substandard season is probably all we as Cubs fans can hope for.
At 50-80, the Cubs are only better than the hapless Houston Astros, who are losing to the Cubs’ next opponent, the San Francisco Giants, as we speak. There is almost no way for the Cubs to catch up to the Astros’ level of fail right now. The Astros have only 40 wins on the season and will fall to 10.5 games behind the Cubs to keep their stranglehold on next year’s #1 draft pick. It’s actually kind of amazing that the Astros haven’t been completely eliminated from postseason play yet, but the Cardinals, who hold one of the wild card spots at the moment, lost earlier so the Astros live to suck another day. Anyway, given that the Cubs have no realistic shot at the top pick and have a small cushion over the other teams to keep the #2 pick right now, I feel it’s okay to celebrate this win. Heck, I probably would have anyway, it was exciting.
The Cubs drew 11 walks on the day, which surpassed their previous high of 7 for the season. That many walks means that many more pitches the Brewers had to throw, and I like to say that every walk becomes a potential run. Even Josh Vitters, who won’t play very much anymore for whatever reason, took a walk as a pinch-hitter. The Cubs also committed no defensive errors and in fact had a couple of very nice plays including this one by Luis Valbuena. Brett Jackson, as of right now, is the only Cubs regular to OPS over .800 which kind of sucks, but it’s good for him because he’s improved since his early scuffles. The guy still strikes out a bunch but he has a good eye and makes solid contact. Starlin Castro actually took a walk and had solid hits, including a run-scoring single during the 9th inning rally. This game kind of reminded me of a game in 2008 also against the Brewers when the Cubs looked to be on the hook for the loss before a mammoth comeback effort that allowed them to win in extras. Of course, this team is nowhere close to as good as the 2008 team so comebacks like that aren’t as routine. But as a Cubs fan you do want to see the team do well here and there so today was very nice.
The Cubs are actually 33-32 at home now. Luckily for those of us in the Chicago area who go to home games, they don’t suck as much as they do on the road. They actually have a chance to finish over .500 at home for the season which would be epic considering everything that’s gone wrong for the MLB club so far. The 50th victory ensures that the Cubs cannot lose more than 112 games this year for those of you keeping tabs on our contest. The Cubs are unfortunately likely to be mathematically eliminated from contention soon (E# is 3 for the division and 12 for the wild card) so don’t hold your breath for a monstrous comeback and four or more epic collapses. But with more of these pleasant surprises sprinkled throughout the rest of the season, at least we can continue to have a bit of fun as the front office continues the rebuild effort.
As long as they keep the #2 pick, that’s kind of important. Didn’t want you guys to think that I’d forgotten about that.