RECORDS: Reds 49-69 Cubs 61-55
GAMETIMES: Monday-Wednesday at 7:05, Thursday at 1:20
TV: WGN Monday and Wednesday, CSN Tuesday and Thursday
RIVER RATS: Blog Red Machine
It feels like we’ve been here before. In fact it was a month ago, right after the break. The Cubs had trash lined up right after it, when we all hoped they could make a serious move. Fatten up. Bumslay. Whatever your term is. And they did. They won 11 of 13 and moved back into first. Then they spent two weeks pretty much fucking up against the the Diamondbacks, Nats, and Giants. And here we are again. Reds, Jays, Reds, Phils, Pirates, Braves. You can’t ask for more.
Whatever you perceive the problems to be, this is when you can sort them out. If Justin Wilson can’t find his rhythm in blue pinstripes against these outfits, god help him. Weigh Davis doesn’t have to get urpy against these outfits. If Kyle Schwarber is going to stop whiffing on his pitches, these are the staffs who’ll make it easy on him. By the time the Brewers show up in the second week of September, the Cubs could, and really should, have this division wrapped up. Kiss my ass with whatever St. Louis is doing, it ain’t going to last.
It starts with four agains Cincinnati, whom with all the things that have plagued the Cubs this year they’ve at least done pretty well against, going 6-3. The Reds have been a touch spiky in August after a woeful June and July. Though they’ve piled that up mostly against the collapsing Pirates and uncaring Padres, and lost series to the Cardinals and Brewers before they show up here.
There is enough offense here to make things tricky if you fuck up. Joey Votto could be headed for a six-WAR season. Zack Cosart is healthy. Eugenio Suarez has already been annoying to the Cubs and is here. Adam Duvall will come up with the occasional homer you can’t give up. Same goes for Scooter Gennett. The offense is 7th in baseball it team wOBA.
However, whatever good work the offense has been doing has been undone by the rotation, which hasn’t really been helped by the call-ups of a couple kids in Luis Castillo and Sal Romano (which sounds like a guy who’d be booking your bets at Aqueduct, but I digress). Scott Feldman has an ERA of 14.00 the last month. Homer Bailey has been a lab experiment. The only competence has been from Asher Wojciechowski, and his name is “Asher.” If the Cubs get shut down by any of the dopes you’re free to throw furniture around the house, and once you explain to your spouse why, they should understand.
The back of the pen has a lot of strikeouts in it, with Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, and Blay Kwood manning the late innings. So if the Cubs find themselves trailing somehow after getting to face dog food in the opening innings, it’s not so easy.
Every time I set out a target for the Cubs, they fail to meet it. So I probably shouldn’t here. But the next 30 games, and I feel like I can’t stress this enough, are Reds, Jays, Reds, Phils, Pirates, Braves, Pirates, Brewers, Mets. Is 20 wins really so hard? It shouldn’t be. It should probably be more.
Enough of the bullshit. It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights.