Chicago Cubs: Is the offense finally turning the corner?
Speaking of our favorite team, let’s take a look at the Cubs’ stretch run. The Cubbies finish their set in the desert against the Dbacks (4-2 so far against Arizona) on Wednesday night.
The good news is the Diamondbacks are reeling at the moment and the Cubs have been riding excellent starting pitching and just enough timely hitting (thanks Javier Baez and Kris Bryant) of late. After winning the opener of the series Monday night and an offensive explosion in Tuesday’s matchup, they’ll battle left-hander Robbie Ray to cap the series on Wednesday. The Cubs send a southpaw of their own to the mound in veteran Cole Hamels.
After a much needed (and publicized) off-day on Thursday, the Cubs return home to Chicago, where they will spend the rest of the season as they play three at The Rate/Cell/New Comiskey. They are scheduled to face White Sox hurlers Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and left-hander Carlos Rodon. Chicago will tentatively counter with Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and then Kyle Hendricks again in the Crosstown Showdown.
Despite not having an off-day, the Cubs don’t have to travel very far back to the North Side to finish up the season with sets against the rival Pirates and Cardinals.
Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, Ivan Nova and Trevor Williams are scheduled to start for the Bucs in the four-game set. The season concludes with tentative matchups against Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas and left-hander Austin Gomber. Here’s hoping that by that point, the Cubs will be adjusting their rotation to get ready for the NLDS and give guys the rest they need.
With only two weeks to go and the Central Division still up for grabs, the Cubs control their destiny, but will have to hold off the Cardinals and Brewers if they want to avoid the de facto play-in Wild Card game. Let’s hope they take care of business, get some rest for the pen and are able to set their rotation for a fourth-straight NLDS appearance in early October.