What’s up with the Cubbies?
This is no normal #ThoughtTrainThursday. There will be no Creed clips or lighthearted commentary on a random happening in the world of sports. When the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs put together their worst road trip in three years, the ordinary will not suffice. After being outscored by the Dodgers and Padres 31-9 during their Southern California play-cation, the North Sisters return to Chicago bruised, battered, and two games under .500.
Cubs fans have been told not to worry for the entirety of the slow start. The sky is not falling, but this has been a weird year in baseball. The Giants are tied for last place in the NL West. The Rockies and Twins have seemingly come out of nowhere. The NL Central has been about as unpredictable as it gets. The division is only separated by 5 games, but Milwaukee Brewers are pillaging the MLB as the Pirates are passed out in the basement in a drunken stupor.
Inconsistency in the leadoff spot thanks Dexter Fowler’s offseason departure and less-than-stellar starting pitching has landed the Cubs where few thought they would be. I get that, but this team is just playing uninspired ball. Whether it’s a lack of focus due to a “We did it…now what?” mentality or an abnormality that will surely right itself in the coming weeks, nobody is scared to take the field against the Cubs. That’s a problem. Championship hangovers don’t last two months. The Cubs are lucky to be 3 games back with over a hundred to go, but they’re in need of a wake up call. This team has gotten themselves into this mess, and they should fight to get out of it. I mean it.
After hearing Jake Arrieta’s comments about the Nats-Giants fight and knowing that the Cardinals are up next on the Cubs schedule, I couldn’t help but think that the Cubs could use a brawl to get back into the swing of things. What better way to take out the frustrations of a six-game losing streak than against your most hated rival? When you’re not hitting well it’s difficult to take out your frustrations on the baseball, so an opponent’s face/ribcage just might have to do.
As much as it would pain me to see Matt Albers topple over – he’s sure not lacking in surface area and would make an easy target – it could save the Cubs season. The Cubs have no shortage of young, physically gifted athletes. I’m also certain that Jason Heyward and especially John Lackey have at least a few former teammates they couldn’t stand. They’d eat the Cardinals for lunch, guaranteed. Who knows, maybe a few suspensions would lead to Maddon tinkering with the lineup card and he’d find a group of guys that can mirror last season’s offensive output.
The Cubs are due for a spark, but nobody knows where it’s coming from or when it might happen. I’d prefer sooner than later. If that requires the benches to clear in the next few days, then so be it. I can hear the pain in Pat Hughes’s voice during recent broadcasts, and I know he cannot take it for much longer. I desperately want Javy or Willson Contreras to pimp a home run, get thrown behind the next at-bat and then charge the mound with the fury of a thousand suns. It would be best if this happened before it’s mid-August and the Cubs are fighting tooth and nail for a wild card spot.
I’m only half kidding, but who wouldn’t want to relive this?