The Cubs just had about as rough a week as possible to end their long road trip. They lost two of three to the second-place Brewers before playing a rain-ravaged series in Washington. Friday’s and Sunday’s games were postponed, costing Chicago a start from Jon Lester, and the Nats swept Saturday’s soggy doubleheader to add insult to injury.
The Cubs now return to Wrigley for three huge games with Milwaukee, who swept the Giants after the Northsiders left town to move within two games of first place. Lorenzo Cain is heating up as Christian Yelich cools just a little bit, but the grinding lineup continues to be the driving force behind their success.
Injured Zach Davies and newly acquired Gio Gonzalez have entered the rotation to try to ease the burden on the bullpen. Make no mistake, though, the Brewers’ playoff fortunes will live and die with the relief corps.
Suddenly, the Cubs are having pen problems of their own. The relief unit gave up the lead twice in the last week and got shelled a couple more times. Carl Edwards Jr. has struggled of late but he is hardly alone.
It didn’t seem possible the Cubs’ schedule could get more trying down the stretch, but Sunday’s washout was pushed to what had been an open day on Thursday. That will make it around a month between planned off-days, something can really weigh a team down no matter how talented they are.
With Milwaukee’s surge, this series becomes much more important than it seemed merely a week ago. Circumstances have conspired against the Cubs but no one is shedding tears for them and this series is going to say a lot about just how tense the the next 20 games will be.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, September 10 at 7:05 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Tuesday, September 11 at 7:05 pm CT on MLB Network (out of market) and WGN
- Wednesday, September 12 at 7:05 pm CT on ESPN and ABC-7
What to Watch For
- Cub-killer Ryan Braun is hitting .313 in September, more reason to be worried when he comes up to bat.
- Victor Caratini may be the hottest hitter on the team right now. The backup catcher is hitting .308 the last seven days.
- Lester gets another start just three days after his last one, which lasted just one inning being being wiped out by rain.
- Kris Bryant’s timing is still a bit off since his return. He is hitting just .238 the last week of games.