As the losses add up, it’s hard not to think that maybe the Chicago Cubs need to mix things up. In many ways, there’s that old cliche in sports that after another loss especially last night’s matchup against the much despised St. Louis Cardinals, the RedBirds shouldn’t have won the game 4-3. In fact, a walkoff home run against a superb Adam Warren stings a lot.
After John Lackey‘s awesome outing, it was a case of a couple of home runs doing the Cubs in.
“They’re a good team,” Lackey said. “We have to worry about ourselves. They’re kind of irrelevant. If we play our game, we’ll be OK.”
I wouldn’t go that far. The Cubs are losing ground in the Central after the loss and now have lost three in a row. I believe you can officially declare the Cubs in a slump, maybe a rut. I don’t know?
“We pitched well, we had good at-bats — unable to drive in a run obviously really hurt us, but it’s another good baseball game,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “Games like that you say, ‘Our pitchers only made one or two mistakes, and they beat you,’ and it’s true. They hit two mistakes out of the ballpark, and we lose.”
Are the Cubs playing overconfidently or has the other teams figured them out? Sure, last night the Cubs shouldn’t have lost the game, although I have to tread lightly by saying that. We know that any team on any given night could lose in a heartbeat. The secret for the Cubs to get back on track is for Anthony Rizzo to start hitting again. You can trace the Cubs, uh, slump back to when Rizzo stopped being Anthony Rizzo.
“Balls really not falling for me at this moment,” Rizzo said. “It’s a little frustrating for me. I think I’ve been really good with my approach.”
And that happens.
I guarantee that once Anthony Rizzo starts hitting again, the Cubs are going to get out of the funk that they’ve slipped into. The good news is that now’s the time to get the wrinkles out and make those mistakes because October comes quickly and the Cubs need to get that momentum back.
“It is frustrating a little bit,” second baseman Ben Zobrist said after the game. “It’s still so early. We weren’t thinking too high of ourselves. We know it’s a long season. We just have to get back to the grind again.”