The Cubs just can’t seem to catch a break. It looked like this was the series that would break curses, shatter slumps and get the Cubs back on track but the Pittsburgh Pirates proved tough division rivals defeating the Cubs 8-4.
One of the many Cubs mantras over the years has been, “There’s always next year.” but lately their mantra has changed to “Tomorrow”
“Before, everything was pretty, and now everything is kind of ugly,” Miguel Montero said. “It’s baseball. You get a lot of ups and downs. … There’s another game tomorrow.”
Sure, Anthony Rizzo collected his 21st moonshot of the season and Jake Arrieta lived up to his Cy Young award from last year by trying to give the Cubs the lead, but even the mighty beard wasn’t anything to fear last night and Arrieta now has given up 16 earned runs in his last 4 starts. He’s looking human.
“When things aren’t going your way, those moments show up,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re leaving way too many folks on base. When you’re not able to score runs like we had been, everything else that’s a negative is magnified. We’re unable to play through our mistakes right now, and probably in the beginning of the year, we did. … No excuses, we have to do better.”
We’ve determined that this is a slump of epic proportions. In fact, if the Cubs hadn’t gotten off to their tremendous start in April and May, chances are they’d be trying for a wild card spot instead of a division championship. Cleveland,Texas and San Francisco have overtaken them.
“Honestly, I think it’s sort of baseball reality,” Theo Epstein said Friday. “It’s impossible to win at the pace we were winning at early in the season the whole year. Every team, even championship-caliber clubs, go through a month or so where they play .500 or so baseball, and that’s what we’re doing. It’s not surprising. I think our players would admit we haven’t quite had the same grinding relentlessness that we had in April. I’m very confident we’re going to get back to that.”
I don’t know if it’s nervousness that’s setting in or what, but the Cubs are quickly looking at their playoff hopes disappearing and are on route to being a part of the greatest collapse in sports history. Even worse than the Boston Red Sox collapse of 2011.
The start of the slump coincides with Dexter Fowler‘s injury June 18, From then until now, the Cubs have dropped 14 games. it goes to show you just how important he is in the lineup. The good news is he’s coming back. He’ll be there after the All Star break and the Cubs will get back to their winning ways.
Today we leave for Pittsburgh. Look for us in Section 120 Row Y on Sunday. We’re representing Canada at the game. With a team that is known for their fair share of curses, hopefully we’re the good luck charm that’ll end it.