The Cubs took down the Reds Friday afternoon for their fourth straight victory. They are now 7-3 in September. And it doesn’t matter a lick because they are still not even within hailing distance of the division lead or the Wild Card.
When the final post-mortem is written on the Cubs’ 2009 season, the cause of death should be listed as, “They went 11-17 in August.” Had they merely been able to muster a .500 record in that dismal month, they would still at least be in the thick of the Wild Card race.
And what’s been the big difference between August and September? Mostly, quality of opponents. The three series that really did the Cubs in during August were the Colorado, Philadelphia and Los Angeles ones. In September, they’ve beaten up on weak-sister divisional opponents Houston, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
So, when you boil it down, the Cubs were beaten by their inability to hold serve against the best teams in the league. A team that can’t run with the big dogs doesn’t deserve a spot in the playoffs anyway.