The Cubs are 2-5 and have scored just 10 runs in their last seven games, with just three runs in the last three games they dropped to the Pirates. Yes, the team with the worst record in baseball completely stifled the division leaders in embarrassing fashion and put the Cubs in a tough spot as they enter the final weekend of the season.
Even though a playoff spot has already been guaranteed, the Cubs should really want to win the NL Central and assure themselves of the No. 3 seed for the opening round. That’s less about home-field advantage and more about the matchup, since finishing second in the Central would mean getting the fifth seed and traveling to San Diego to play the Padres.
Not that facing a surging Reds team with their top-flight starters is an enticing option, but the possibility of facing the Marlins, Giants, Phillies, or Brewers isn’t so daunting. Unlike in past seasons, that latter squad is fading down the stretch and needs a big series against the Cardinals — against whom they have four games this weekend — to sneak back into the hunt.
The Reds have a daunting task as they finish the season in Minnesota against a Twins team that has jumped back into the AL Central lead. Then there’s the Cubs, who could continue to back into a division title as long as the Cards don’t demolish the Brewers. Does that provide you with any additional comfort? Part of me wants the Cardinals to have to play those final two games against Detroit, forcing them to burn pitchers ahead of the playoffs.
My real hope, though, is that playing on the South Side against a hungry Sox team wakes the Cubs the eff up and gets them to stop playing like a bunch of hangdog schlubs. They’ve not even been competitive in five of their last six games and look lost at the plate against pitchers who can generously be described as mediocre. Failing to shake loose from their current funk spells a very quick exit from the postseason.
It’s imperative that the Cubs win a game or two this weekend, further boosting those 91% division odds even without needing help from the Brewers. As gross as it may feel, you should all be pulling for the team north of the Cheddar Curtain to sweep Friday’s doubleheader with the Cardinals and give the Cubs a little leeway come Sunday. However it happens, it sure would be nice for David Ross to be able to shift the W bus out of reverse and back into drive.