The Chicago Cubs hype machine is in full effect a quarter of the way through the season. They dominate National baseball headlines carrying the hopes of a city looking to rid itself of the infamous Billy goat curse. The Cubs are getting it done with solid pitching led by Jake Arrieta (10-1, 1.86 era) and overall best in the majors at 2.62. The pitching staff has picked up the slack when the offense has failed to get it done. The last time the Cubs won the World Series you’d have to go back to 1908 when they defeated the Detroit Tigers. Their last World Series appearance was in 1945 ironically enough against the Tigers. Though if you’re a Cubs fan don’t start RSVP’ing to the World Series quite yet.
There are areas of need just like all clubs have. They rank 12 of 30 in overall batting average and 13th in fielding percentage. But key players like Miguel Montero and David Ross are doing an outstanding job behind the plate but batting at .210 and .236 respectively, is not getting the job done. Montero’s health is also at doubt with return trips to the disabled list. To make matters worst Jorge Soler their young left fielder was also put on the DL. Though Soler was only hitting .223, the last 15 games was hitting .303. Another disappointment this year has been Jayson Heyward who is batting .240 and was one of their big offseason acquisitions. Heyward a notorious slow starter will need to prove it has been just that to justify the 186-million-dollar contract if the Cubs hope to win it all. In Heyward’s defense in the last 7 games he is batting .375 and last 15 .304. For the Cubs it’s one thing to dominate during the regular season but postseason baseball is a different beast. Lest we forget the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners neither of which won the World Series. Both teams hold the record for most wins in a regular season at 116. A pace the current Cubs team is set to match. Regular season accolades are great but if you’re not out there come October celebrating a World Series title it’s a mute point.
Look for the Cubs to continue relying on their outstanding pitching and timely hitting to continue their winning ways. Keep an eye out on the Washington Nationals, New York Mets and of course those pesky San Francisco Giants to challenge the Cubs for the National League title. If the Cubs can find some offensive help before the trade deadline and some of their star players start hitting the way they’re capable of; maybe, just maybe this will be the year Cubs fans can party like it’s 1908.