Chicago Cubs News

A Shard of a Sliver of a Shred of Hope


You might want to hold off on writing that obituary for the 2009 Cubs.  Their playoff hopes may be on life-support, but vital signs are strengthening, and today there is a shred of hope that a recovery is possible.

Those who gave up on the team so thoroughly that they stopped even bothering to check the standings may be surprised to discover that, as of Sunday morning, the Cubs were only 5 1/2 behind the Rockies.

Granted, there are three other teams the Cubs will have to climb over to get to the Rockies, but still:  5 1/2 games out with 35 left to play.  That’s doable.  And things get even more hopeful when you look at the schedule.

After the Cubs get finished with the Mets, hopefully by sweeping them, they get three against a floundering Houston squad, that make-up game against a fading White Sox team, and then – this is the cool part – a nine game stretch against the Mets, Pirates and Reds, their three favorite teams to beat the hell out of.

It makes little difference that those Mets and Pirates series are on the road.  Those are bad teams that don’t have a lick of fight left in them.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking right now:  Haven’t we heard this tune before?  The one about the easy schedule down the stretch?  The one where the Cubs are supposed to beat teams and, for whatever reason, don’t?

Well, frankly, yes.  But this is a post about a shard of a sliver of a shred of hope.  Which means I am going to extract every last ounce of positivity I can from the situation.

Best case scenario:  The Cubs finally put it together offensively, with Alfonso Soriano and his poor bad knee taking the rest of the year off (spunk is nice but the guy’s been hurting the team all year, so just sit him).  Carlos Zambrano gets his form back, starting Sunday against the Mets, and lays off trying to bomb balls onto the street in BP for the rest of the year.  The rest of the rotation just keeps doing what it’s been doing (including Rich Harden, who will not be traded to the Twins).  Carlos Marmol finds and keeps his command, reducing 9th inning drama to acceptable levels.

Of course, even with these things going our way, we still need the Rockies, Giants, Braves and Marlins to all go into final month slumps.  It looks like a long shot.  But, look on the bright side:  Brant Brown isn’t here to drop any fly balls.  That must count for something.