I knew a Cubs sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals would be too good to be true. After a rain soaked three hour delay, the Cubs fell to the Cardinals 5-3.
You knew there was going to be one of these didn’t you? Anthony Rizzo crushed his fourth home run of the season. So, the Cubs took two of the three, but sent a message to Cardinal land that the rivalry between the two division opponents has been renewed with a visor.
“Winning the series is always your goal,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “You get greedy after winning the first two — you always want to try to sweep the series at that point. My takeaway is, after winning the first two games, being behind, three hours, 21 minutes hanging out in the clubhouse [during the delay] and going out with that kind of attitude, that speaks volumes for our group. That says a lot. Everybody was ready to play, everybody wanted to play, nobody shut the switch off. Beyond winning two out of three, that was the part that was most impressive.”
It almost seemed like this series was a continuation of October. These kind of series are so good for the game of baseball and they showcase the competitive spirit that the game has to offer.
“They’ve been a great team for a long time,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said. “The steadiness of the Cardinals organization is remarkable. We’re trying to get to that point. At least now, when we come in here, we feel there are two really good teams playing. We have to execute our pitches and make plays and get hits, but there’s not the sense that we don’t have the ability. We certainly have that ability.”
Much has been said regarding the Cubs progress and transition from “Lovable Losers” to contenders for the championship that has alluded them for over a century but somehow that cloud will always hang over them. In many ways, the Cubs reminded me of that recent movie The Witch with the goat that was tied up always looming in the barn watching the family’s every move. Is something bad going to happen?
The Cubs are 11-4 with last night’s loss but still sit atop the National League Central division.
Tonight, the Cubs head to Cincinnati to take on the Reds and have a chance to pad their lead. Jake Arrieta gets the ball.
“I love having this kind of emotion on a daily basis,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the rivalry between the two teams. “It’s good for you as a person, as a player. I know the fans are into it. I love the competitive nature in the game. It’s healthy.”