With five games to go in the season, the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central. Who’d a thunk it?
Back in June, when we didn’t fall prey to our usual “June swoon”, people started saying things like “if we can just stay in the running until September, then we have an easier schedule than either Houston or St. Louis, so we can have an end-of-season surge”. So far, that seems to be the case, and last night’s Cubs victory over Cincinnati and Astros loss to San Francisco is an example of that.
I thought it was just usual Cubs fan excessive yet hopeless optimism, but … we may actually do it! And on the back of strong pitching, no less. It’s been a long, long time since pitching was the core strength of the Cubs. Trading for some good bats has helped too, and what’s interesting to me about that is that two of the folks we got, Kenny Lofton and Randall Simon, came from the Pirates “we’re not making the playoffs” fire sale. But since the trades the Pirates have been playing well over .500 ball! Talk about mutually beneficial exchange …