by Richard Kagan
With yesterdays’s 5-3 loss to the Reds, the Cubs are now 40-41, halfway through the season. This current crop is mired in mediocrity. Much to the consternation of it’s growing and loyal fan base. The team never got off the ground in April or May and playing in June has been a win one, lose two type of scenario. The Cubs have been at .500 16 times this season, and can’t win more than one of two games above that mark.
The pitching, hitting, and defense has been under performing. True, the Cubs have been banged up. Players, such as Leis Bryant, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, and Kyle Hendricks have been injured. The Cubs will get those players back soon, perhaps during the Cubs next homestand.
Chicago fell to 0-2 vs. the Cincinnati Reds this weekend. Chicago has owned the Reds last season and earlier this season. If the Reds win on Sunday, this will be the first time the Cub have been swept in Cincinnati in 21 years.
Joe Maddon, manager of the Cubs, thinks the team will turn things around. He has said it in a variety of ways. He said he was surprised the Cubs haven’t played better but he thinks the team will play better soon He also mentioned that the Cubs are in a weak division and if they did play better, they had a chance to move into first place. The Cubs are not far from Milwaukee. But right now, that doesn’t matter. They can’t seem to put the wins together to move closer.
It was a bit ironic that pitcher Scott Feldman shut down the Cubs 5-0. He allowed only three hits. He was traded for Jake Arrieta who went on to have one of the greatest seasons in Major League baseball history in 2015. But Feldman pitched like Arrieta of old, and the Cubs were blanked. It’s been that kind of season for Chicago.
Who knows what may happen? It seems like Maddon had the midas touch last season. Every move he made worked. Until he took out Kyle Hendricks early in game 7. Everything he said rang true. The Cubs know the fans are concerned. The Chicago press is covering this crazy season. The players are aware that they are not playing well.
Maybe they can. Maybe they can’t. But as the season progresses, it would be a good thing if they started to win again. One game at a time.