Ivy’s Roundup – The M*A*S*H Unit

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As we all know (or should, anyway), the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.  The Chicago Cubs got out to a spectacular start, but have hit a speed bump given all the injuries that have cropped up, not to mention how HARD it is to sustain a crazy winning pace like they have before this last stretch of WTF.  It probably doesn’t help that this road trip started after a sweep by the St. Louis Cardinals, who at press time are still nine games back in the division.  So we ask:

My immediate answer would be that I was not exactly pleased with losing a series to the Miami Marlins, but I also recognize, again, that the season is long, that soon the Cubs will get some reinforcements back from the M*A*S*H unit, and it’ll all end up being OK.  The young players will take their lumps and grow from it, and hopefully Willson Contreras will get to catch somebody more consistently instead of being the latest super-utility player.  Alright, let’s get this over with…

Chicago Cubs @ Miami Marlins

First, the scores and stuff:

Thursday, June 23 – Cubs 2, Marlins 4
Friday, June 24 – Cubs 5, Marlins 4
Saturday, June 25 – Cubs 6, Marlins 9
Sunday, June 26 – Cubs 1, Marlins 6

Where do we begin?  Well, first, let us be thankful that the four-game losing streak ended and the Cubs were able to sneak a win in before another losing streak began.  Then, let us also be glad that Jason Heyward‘s bat is waking up even if he’s hitting into some really stupid luck.  I liked that for stretches at a time, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jason Hammel looked solid even if they had that one inning of hiccups each.  And except for the final game in the series, the Cubs always had a chance to win in their final at-bat.  This after losing an entire solid lineup’s worth of players to injury, but there’s good news on the horizon, as Tommy La Stella is ready for a rehab assignment, Dexter Fowler is soon to follow, and the rookies, while overmatched a bit right now, are learning on the job and not intimidated.  The team as a whole has owned their mistakes and worked to fight through this tough patch, and Joe Maddon has said all the right things:

The Cubs are actually 4-6 in their last ten games, if you can believe that.  They also still have a winning record in the month of June despite this slump, at 13-11.  They were able to keep key players like Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, and Miguel Montero (yes, him too) off the disabled list.  And guess who they’re facing next…

Chicago Cubs @ Cincinnati Reds

That’s right, the Reds, who are 1-6 versus the Cubs so far this season and have been outscored 60-20 in their head-to-head matchups, including a no-hitter by Jake Arrieta…so if anything is gonna bust the injury-depleted Cubs out of a slump, it’ll be this series.  And if not, the worst that can happen is that the Cardinals get within 6 games of first (boo) and the only team challenging the Cubs for homefield advantage in the National League playoffs right now, the San Francisco Giants, can only go 1.5 games ahead.  Life will go on, as there are 88 games left to play, and these next three will be interesting to see how the Cubs respond from a series that, with a few breaks, could have gone either way.  I don’t think the Cubs are going to get swept by the Reds, and they’re still “on pace” to win 105 games, so while they have lost a bit of their early dominance, they’re still in the lead in this marathon.  Now, there are going to be times where even I will freak out about this season, but right now, I think I’m OK.  And hopefully you will be, too.  Let’s check the matchups…

Monday, June 27
6:10 PM Central
Jake Arrieta vs. Dan Straily
TV = WGN, Radio = WSCR AM 670 The Score

Tuesday, June 28
6:10 PM Central
Jon Lester vs. John Lamb
TV = CSN, Radio = WSCR AM 670 The Score

Wednesday, June 29
11:35 AM Central
Kyle Hendricks vs. Cody Reed
TV = WGN, Radio = WSCR AM 670 The Score



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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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