Maybe there is joy in Wrigleyville after all.
The Chicago Cubs came back from the west coast with a losing streak of six games, and gosh darn it, the Cubs won its game vs. St. Louis on a Jason Heyward sacrifice fly which scored Anthony Rizzo in the eighth inning with the winning run, 3-2.
As Harry Caray would say, “Cubs win!” The Cubs are now 26-27 and are 2.5 games behind as the calender turns to early June. This is not exactly what most Cubs fans had in mind when the season started. It turns out, the Cubs are lucky because the teams in the Division are not that good. They can be passed, but the Cubs need to play better baseball, and pretty quickly, or this season might get away from them.
The team is not hitting well with men on base. John Lackey went seven strong innings today. The Cubs have two more games with St. Louis, their arch-rival The players might be feeling the mounting pressure and with that, they might be trying harder, which does the opposite. Baseball is a game that asks one to be subtle, yet on point. The batter has to be aware of the nuances of the the pitcher on the mound. Pitching boils down to almost a fine art of placing pitches on the corners, or where the opposing batter has a weakness. Lackey did a good job of that today, going deep into the game for a quality start.
“It boils down to execution.” That is an oft used expression in sports. In baseball, that is certainly the case. Last season, the Cubs executed with alacrity and skill. In the World Series, the team played at an extremely high level.
So far, a lot of guys aren’t getting it done. Manager Joe Maddon spoke of waiting for his hitters to hit the ball with precision and that would follow through in the lineup. We’ve seen that only in spurts. Someone mentioned that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs went on a long winning streak.
They need to build good habits. And win some games. And win more games. Then one can talk about winning streaks.
Can the Cubs get hot and turn their season around? It’s possible. But it won’t be easy.