Chicago Cubs firing on all cylinders during their five-game win streak

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

During their current five-game win streak, the Chicago Cubs have come alive offensively, pairing their bats with consistently stellar starting pitching.

Nearing the end of August, the Chicago Cubs seem to be hitting their stride on all fronts. Joe Maddon‘s ball club has run off five consecutive wins, capped with a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend at Wrigley Field.

Unfortunately, both the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals kept pace on Sunday, picking up wins to remain four and 4 1/2 games back, respectively. But at this point, Chicago can’t be scoreboard watching. They’ve put themselves in a situation where all they need to do is win. They control their own destiny and have a real shot at a third consecutive NL Central crown.

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On Sunday, the Cubs rode a familiar recipe – dominant starting pitching and a relentless offensive onslaught – past the Reds. Some pointed to the quality of play put forth by Cincinnati as the reason for the sweep. But it comes down to this. That was a series Chicago should have won. They did so – and I see no reason to label it as anything but.

We’re just days from an influx of new names to the big-league roster. Major League rosters expand on Sept. 1 – and the Cubs will undoubtedly add some guys to the mix. Not least of all, former National League MVP, Kris Bryant, who begins a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Monday.

In Bryant’s absence, though, Javier Baez has put together the best season of his career. He’s a lock for his first 30-homer, 100-RBI campaign. A 30-30 performance might be a bit of a stretch, but there’s no denying his impact on this Cubs team.

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What’s Next

The Chicago Cubs kick off a series against the New York Mets Monday night at Wrigley Field. Jon Lester (14-5, 3.64) squares off against Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 3.38) in the series opener.