Don’t look now, but the Chicago Cubs won as many games in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco this year as you and I did. And yes, I know you didn’t travel out West and suit up. Neither did I. But we secured as many wins for the franchise as the Cubs did this year. And we also cost the Ricketts family a lot less money than Dale Sveum’s team did.
How does a team get swept for the season in California? The primary culprit is the team’s unsightly 16-42 road record. Not even the lowly Padres and their sub-.500 home record could provide the Cubs with a win on the road. For a team that’s above .500 at Wrigley Field this year, being so horrifically bad on the road is unsettling. A decided majority of the team’s remaining games will be played at home (30 of 53 games, if you must know), so the time to build momentum for next year is now upon us.
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There was great excitement among Cubs fans when Jim Hendry-era names like Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson and Ryan Dempster were traded away. With Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters called up, and Anthony Rizzo firmly ensconced in the starting lineup, the Cubs seemed to have turned the corner on the transition to being Theo Epstein’s team. But his team, like all others in baseball, can’t win until they can outscore their opponents, and that hasn’t been happening.
The Cubs celebrated the anniversary of 8/8/88, the night that the lights finally came on at Wrigley Field, by dropping their eighth straight game. They’re now coming home to face the first-place Reds, and starting off the series by sending the 0-8 Chris Volstad to the mound. That’s too many eights, and not enough of them good.
The best things that can be said about this season are that the end is now in sight, and there are still nine games left against the Astros. The rookies and young guys may someday develop into a winning team, but for now this season seems to be going nowhere.