Chicago Cubs: Now in a hot streak, Cubs’ push for postseason begins
With the team on a roll to start the second half, most agree that it’s now the Chicago Cubs’ division to lose.
If you’re a fan of the Chicago Cubs, you’re probably thanking the heavens right now for various reasons. On one hand, the team’s won 14 of their first 17 games post-All-Star break and retaking the lead in the NL Central.
On the other, it’s fortunate that the other teams in the division didn’t run away from the struggling Cubs. The Milwaukee Brewers, then baseball’s most surprising division leader in a while, held a mere 5 1/2 game lead when it could’ve been much larger. The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals also struggled, and when you consider that the Brewers are still rebuilding, the division remained as wide open in Mid-July as it was on Opening Day.
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Now that the Cubs are on a roll, most agree that the NL Central is now the team’s to lose. While that ‘now’ may make some fans roll their eyes, one can’t deny that the team was in real trouble for a while. However, all that gloom and doom seems to be over.
“The feeling is back,” Anthony Rizzo told reporters after the team’s blowout win over the Diamondbacks Tuesday night. “All those good vibes, all those good juices that we’ve had for the last couple years are back.”
No one denied that the Cubs didn’t have the talent to get back into the playoff race. It all came down to whether or not they could simply play to their potential. For three-and-a-half months they didn’t, but now they’re finally playing like champs.
Playoff matchup already set?
If the good times keep rolling, then their first playoff opponent is damn-near guaranteed to be the Washington Nationals. While it’s true that the D.C. team hasn’t advanced past the NLDS in their 12-plus-year history, it still figures to be a tough series that could go either way. The two squads meet up this weekend for a three-game playoff preview at Wrigley Field. The majority of the opponents during the Cubs’ current hot streak haven’t exactly been world-beaters, so the series will be a real test.
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Even if they get swept, however, the proverbial sky won’t be falling. The Cubs’ remaining schedule features many teams currently under .500, so a postseason future is still firmly in their hands. And we all should know by now that once the regular season ends, you can throw everything out the window. It’s a new season come October.