Chicago Cubs: The swagger is coming back
The Chicago Cubs went from an unstoppable juggernaut to a faulty contender with a bad bullpen, then to a late-innings group of heroes. What does it all mean? It means there’s still baseball to be played and the Cubs are heating back up.
If you turned off your television the other day when the Chicago Cubs fell behind early 6-0 to the Miami Marlins–shame on you. I mean, I do understand. My gut reaction for many years was to simply turn a game like that off and wait till tomorrow. But , hopefully, you were able to catch the replay because it was simply amazing. Then on Wednesday, down 4-1 entering the eighth they did it again. One run scored in the eighth and then three more in the bottom of the ninth to walk away victors.
The Cubs hadn’t won many come from behind games this season, and nothing like last year when it seemed somebody was always getting mobbed in the outfield–often times Starlin Castro. But within the course of three days, the Cubs won two games in their final at-bat–the last on a wild pitch to help sweep the Marlins and stretch their lead back to nine games over the Cardinals (it was 9 1/2, but the Cards won on Wednesday night).
Whatever affliction this team was suffering has passed. The starters–especially Kyle Hendricks–are firing away like a group of Cy Young candidates, the offense isn’t as potent as it once was early in the season, but the return of Dexter Fowler has reinvigorated the bats. Kris Bryant is an MVP candidate, as should Anthony Rizzo. Hendricks could very well be the NL Pitcher of the Month for July, making it three for the Cubs this season (Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester).
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversation
- Projecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 season
- Cubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel
- Justin Steele has evolved into a frontline starter for the Cubs
- The future of first base is murky right now for the Cubs
The bullpen seemed to be the main focus for the Cubs at the deadline, but it’s been the patience at the plate–again–that has helped sparked this Cubs streak. Mike Montgomery and Joe Smith have been less than perfect (although it’s still very early for these two), and Aroldis Chapman has blown a save–but also has saved two as well.
The rotation with Javier Baez, Willson Contreras and Chris Coghlan is working so far. Coghlan is likely on his final chance and may not make it to the end of the season, especially when Jorge Soler returns, but Joe Maddon keeps finding the perfect opportunities for him to succeed. Baez never seems to know where he’s going to play for day-to-day yet he seems to make a highlight reel play wherever he lands at.
Next: Assessing the deadline moves
Before the All-Star Break, many thought the sky was falling and that the lead could be as little as three or four games by now. Oh, ye of little faith. We’re back at near double-digits and the Cubs head out West to see if they can keep up this amazing play. The Cubs are back. Their swagger is back, and I can’t wait for the rest of this MLB season.