What’s Chicago Cubs baseball without some heartache and drama?


Being a Cubs fan isn’t easy, but has it ever?

I’ll admit, I have my moments as well. First I think this Chicago Cubs team is for real, that we can win the NL Central. Then they blow a few games and I think we’ll be lucky to be in the Wild Card race. The truth lies somewhere in the middle I think. But this is, has been Cubs baseball for a long time. They give you hope, they break your heart. And they can do it in the span of two days. But this team is 2 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place. But if it wasn’t for the bullpen we might be…..there I go again. Let’s get back on track here.

The bullpen has taken the brunt of the fans dismay this season, and clearly the Cubs brass agreed as they’ve made some changes to rectify the situation. It’s not fixed, nor will it ever be. But while we seem to hang on every moment they enter the game, let’s not forget the offense and defense is very much part of the struggle. Some of it’s just been bad luck. How often does every error lead to runs for the opposing team? Happened to the Cubs. But it won’t always.

And the offense. Remember the stretch where they couldn’t score? Leaving runners on base in ridiculous numbers? They can be blamed just as much as the defense and the pitching if you choose to play that game. But we may be doing that more this year just because it isn’t a “rebuilding” year. There’s hope. There are expectations. Last year we would chalk up bad outings and struggles to learning experiences and for the most part let them slide.

Hector Rondon did this last year. He blew some saves, lost a few games, and to be honest, was getting hit hard. He then turned it around and was stellar the last half of the season. But now we’re wondering if he’s lost it, should we try Pedro Strop in the ninth?

This is Cubs baseball and has been for a long time. I mean, it’s really just baseball as a whole. Teams lose games they should have won, win ones they should have lost. Bullpens make fans irate by blowing leads, while good hitters will be questioned when they struggle. When Jorge Soler started swing at the slider down and away EVERY TIME, people thought he might need to be sent down to work on things. Now the same is being said about Starlin Castro. We need to relax. This expectation thing may be a bit much for us. Because it’s something we aren’t really familiar with. 

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Look, I’d rather see the bullpen come in and allow nothing, and good hitters go 3-for-4 with an RBI every game and not strikeout in key at-bats. But it happens. Look, I’ve endured Mitch Williams, Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol. And that heartache as a fan, like Friday night’s loss to the D-backs made last night’s Anthony Rizzo heroics that much sweeter. And the Cubs pen? Three innings of shutout baseball to give him the opportunity.

There’s a saying, “it’s not the destination, but the journey.” Phooey. This is baseball. How we get there is irrelevant. We’ll forget the blown saves and 0-for-5 performances if we’re watching baseball in October. A little more drama and heartache may be necessary, but we’re Cubs’ fans, we can take it.

Next: Has Rondon lost his touch?