Chicago Cubs: West Coast trip will be a good test


West Coast trip will be a good measuring stick for this current Cubs team

The Chicago Cubs ended a great homestand that saw them winning six out of seven games against the first place New York Mets and N.L. Central rivals the Pittsburgh Pirates. With that now behind them, the Cubs will head out west for a three-game set against the San Diego Padres and three against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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West coast trips are always a challenge for teams; the time change alone is difficult to overcome. For this current Cubs team, it will be a good look at where this current young squad stands.

When I say this current Cubs team, I’m talking about the team that has dropped three straight series against the St. Louis Cardinals and two against the last place Milwaukee Brewers, but then fire back and sweep the first place Mets, and taking two out of three from the Pirates.

While the Padres are on a three-game losing streak and the Diamondbacks are on a four-game losing streak, they cannot be overlooked. The first west coast road trip for the Cubs will be an adjustment for the new and young players.

The Padres are 10-10 at home this season, but they have several bats that can cause problems for pitching; as they proved against the Cubs earlier in the year. Their bats have cooled off some, but when you have Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers, you always have a chance to put up a lot of runs.

The Diamondbacks are not faring that well at home this season with a 9-12 record. But their bats can be just as dangerous as the Cubs’, especially all-star Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt holds a career .336 batting average against the Cubs, but Jason Hammel has had his number. The Hammel versus Goldschmidt battle favors Hammel, holding the all-star first baseman to a .167 average.

The road trip will challenge the Chicago Cubs with the time difference and because it is the first west coast trip for this young team. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to see the Cubs win four out of the six games on the trip, but it also is just as realistic to see the Cubs lose 2 out of the 4.

If the Cubs do come out of the road trip on the losing end, it is important to remember that this is all new to many of the players and this experience will only make the Cubs better in the long run.

A lot of people are very fast to start their postseason plans already because of how impressive the Cubs have been playing. Not that there is anything wrong with that, everyone should be wanting this team to win and play well, but expectations should still be realistic with the season still very young.

It is great that the Cubs have a winning attitude because a winning attitude will bring confidence and confidence will lead to victories. Something every Chicago Cubs fan wants to see.

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