I realize that everything is terrible these days (whether we’re talking about the Chicago Cubs or real life), but I think the fact that the Cubs are still projected to make the playoffs is good news. I doubt the odds have changed much since the Sunday loss (they did win the first two games of the series) and the Milwaukee Brewers dropping two of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates. After MLB screwed the Cubs out of a much needed off day (thankfully they at least won, but did lose Pedro Strop for a bit after a questionable managerial decision), the next off day won’t come until after their three game trip to Arizona.
We could take solace in knowing that the final ten games of the season will be played at home in Chicago, with the first three technically a “road” trip down the Red Line to play the White Sox at Whatever The Name Is Field over the weekend. The Cubs have only lost 1.5 games off their division lead despite playing like crap since we last talked, so it hasn’t been a complete doomsday scenario. Hopefully the Reds are just as pesky against the Brewers this week as they were all series against the Cubs, but if the Cubs can take care of their own business, then we won’t have to worry too much anyway.
Right now, there is a 2.5 game NL Central lead with a magic number of 11. Just get to Thursday without anyone else getting hurt and with at least that lead intact, and I believe the Cubs are in good shape. They do end the season against the Cardinals, but hopefully by then those games don’t matter for the Cubs. They will matter for St. Louis if they are still in the wild card hunt as they currently trail the Dodgers by a game for the final spot, as the National League holds the last remnants of suspense in the playoff races. Whatever happens further down in the standings, I hope they beat the hell out of each other before the Wild Card Game, and then go 35 innings in the play-in before they face the Cubs. Goodness knows the Cubs could use the rest and to play a beat up club instead of being the beat up club for a change.