Morning Marquee: Attention still on Chicago Cubs despite three-game skid


The past several days have been rough for this young and playoff hopeful Chicago Cubs team who ride a three-game skid entering today’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Still, despite dropping their previous three contests, the spotlight remains on this club as we close in on the final days of August. They’ve already eclipsed their 2014 win total and own the fourth-best record in the entire league.

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Their 73-54 mark would be good enough for first-place in multiple divisions scattered across the American and National League. Since the All-Star break, Chicago has been one of the hottest teams in all of baseball, keeping up with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals who sit at the top of the league with the best overall records.

What’s keeping this team in the playoff hunt is the timing of schedules between themselves and San Fransisco. The Giants – who were able to claim the second and final series of the year – only trail the Cubs by 4 1/2 games for the second spot in the N.L. Wild Card race.

They were able to knock off the first-place Cardinals who stopped by for a weekend set at AT&T park. Surely, the Cardinals, like the Pirates last week, will claim the final two games of the series to push them back even further. At least, that’s what this organization and us fans are hoping for.

With Jason Hammel falling to Clayton Kershaw in yesterday’s series opener, Joe Maddon‘s starting rotation will reset beginning today. Southpaw Jon Lester takes the mound later on this evening while ace right-hander Jake Arrieta goes for this 14th consecutive quality start and win No. 17 on Sunday.

If the Cubs are able to walk away with today and tomorrow in their back pockets, they’ll give themselves some much-needed momentum heading into another six-game home stand against Cincinnati and Arizona before traveling to St. Louis and Philadelphia the week after.

We all knew how tough this West Coast trip was going to be, but the good news is, is that the worst of it is over. Having faced Madison Bumgarner and Kershaw, the Cubs will miss out on Zack Greinke which is perfectly fine if you ask me.

Remember, the last time this team found themselves in a three-game skid, it was broken up and another five-plus winning streak was started the next day.

So let’s go out there and finish out the weekend strong with top-notch performances all around the diamond and bullpen.

Here’s more from around the league:

Cubs need Dan Haren to step it up in September‘ – Cubbies Crib

Cubs acquire Fernando Rodney from Seattle‘ – Cubbies Crib

Mets: It’s painfully obvious the kid glove treatment still perturbing Harvey‘ – Rising Apple

Dodgers 4 Cubs 1: Clayton Kershaw, solid #2‘ – Dodgers Way

Oakland Athletics’ rookie Mark Canha is finishing strong‘ – Swingin’ A’s

Next: Cubs unable to solve Kershaw, fall to Dodgers