Chicago Cubs are playing banged up, yet keep finding ways to win

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs closed out the month of May with a record of 19-8, the best in the National League. With the way this season started and how the injuries have piled up, it’s been truly remarkable. The club was widely perceived as sellers come the trade deadline, but with the way this team’s been playing it will be very tough to start dealing. The recent success with this lineup doesn’t make much sense and we will see how it holds up in a grind of a month ahead.

In May, the Cubs finished top 5 in average, on-base-percentage and slugging and also top-10 in team ERA. The team has won seven of their last eight series and things seem to be clicking.

The most impressive part of this hot stretch is that they’re doing it without Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, Nico Hoerner, Matt Duffy, Jake Marisnick, Justin Steele and now David Bote and Trevor Williams. Half of this roster seems to be on the shelf but the depth of this team is starting to show and we are seeing very surprising contributions.

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The lineup this team is starting to roll out feels like half of the Iowa Cubs and it’s not promising before these games start but they’re finding ways to grind out wins.

The most surprising new name so far has to be Patrick Wisdom. He’s spent seven games with this team and has showcased his ability to play third and right field. Along with his versatility, he’s gone 7-for-15 at the plate with three home runs. He’s given David Ross the ability to be flexible with his lineup and is showing he’s got the ability to play with this group.

Chicago Cubs content to mix-and-match

Other names like Rafael Ortega, Ildemaro Vargas and pitcher Kohl Stewart have stepped in and provided this team the service they need. None of these are household names and it’s just exciting to see this group come together.

The series opener against the Padres really sums up how much chemistry the Cubs have right now. San Diego strolled in with just two position players (Trent Grisham and Austin Nola) on the shelf along with their $800 million infield and Chris Paddack. The Cubs had to start Stewart due to an injury to Trevor Williams, and both Wisdom and Ortega drew starts, as well.

We watched Stewart throw five shutout innings, Wisdom and Javier Baez each homer twice and Javier Baez and Kris Bryant pop another long ball for good measure in a 7-2 victory.

Ross and his group have really embodied the “next man up” philosophy and it has instilled confidence into this team and fans alike. The most exciting part about this success is who knows how hot this team could get when fully healthy.

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By no means should this lineup keep winning games but I am here for it as long we do. With the Padres, Giants, Cardinals, Dodgers, Mets, Indians, Marlins and Brewers on tap for June, the gauntlet is set and we are going to really see what this team is made of.