Chicago Cubs are poised to secure the N.L. Wild Card


Gut check time is upon us. With just under 40 games remaining in the regular season, the Chicago Cubs find themselves in unfamiliar territory. I can’t say I can find one person who saw this type of season coming this year.

Conventional wisdom put this team a year or two away from contention. Fast forward the script and we find the Cubs in a unique chance to put a stranglehold on the wild card.

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It’s still possible that the surging Cubs, winners of 18 of their last 21 games, can catch the Cardinals. With six games remaining against the Cardinals and seven against the Pirates, no lead should be considered safe.

But if we focus on what we control, the next week will prove pivotal to the playoff chances for the young North Siders. The San Francisco Giants are battling injuries that have plagued them all season. Despite their mediocre play, they still find themselves well in the N.L. West race.

So what does this mean to our Cubbies?

Already holding a 7.5 game lead over the defending champs, the Cubs can effectively end the Giants focus on the Wild Card race. Another Sweep would certainly be a nail in the coffin so to speak.

But assuming the Dodgers, who are also struggling to find wins, can take care of business against the Reds, the Cubs should be prepared for a dogfight with the Giants. They have a winning pedigree after all.

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After the marquee showdown, the Cubs will head to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers. In one week, we will see the best the N.L. West has to offer. Two teams that will be jockeying for position as we make the final turn into the home stretch.

If the Cubs can continue to focus on good, timely hitting and aggressive pitching, they will have a lot to say on how the playoff match-ups fall into place.

It’s been a long period of time since the Cubs took the field in October. I’d only be depressing fans by bringing up the overall drought that has casted a dark shadow over Clark and Addison. It has been inspiring to watch the youth grow in front of our eyes while a collective fan base basks in the warmth they haven’t felt in years.

And, maybe this won’t be the year. Maybe we are destined to bow out in game 163. For a moment, a week, or even a month, this ball club has made us fall in love again.

So as this rollercoaster gets set to thrill us once more, let’s keep the energy and hope alive into October.

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