Commentary: Time to be realists, folks


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Brewers holding a slight advantage in NL Central (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)
Brewers holding a slight advantage in NL Central (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)

There’s an old saying, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.” The Cubs advanced another half-game toward first place last night (only 1GB), as the Pirates manhandled the Brewers by a final score of 6-3.

For the first time this season, the Brewers look spent, losing two out of three to fourth place Miami, then following that up with a first game loss to fourth-place Pittsburgh. The Crew plays an additional four games in Pittsburgh this weekend including a double-header tomorrow.

While the Cubs won’t look the gift horses from Miami and Pittsburgh in the mouth, the Cubs are going to need more than freebies to advance in the post-season. When they make it to October, the only team losses that will help the Cubs are from the teams they are playing in the playoffs.

I’ll take heat for the following set of statements, and that’s OK- I’m not sugar-coating anything. Chatwood pitches today, meaning the Cubs are all but spotting the Padres a four (plus) run lead. Rizzo’s hitting has been the worst kind of weak for quite some time now. The North Siders are back to stranding runners left and right again as well. Overall, the teams’ mechanics just seem “off” again, now that they’re playing on the road. While 28-15 (.651) at Wrigley, the Cubs are barely over .500 (24-23) on the road.

Time to be realists, folks. Every week I hear about how it’s still early, and that the Cubs are playing well. We all want them to win, and nobody wants that any more than I do, but they have GOT TO start turning this around and soon.

Maybe the All-Star break gives them a much-needed break, which is perhaps the one reason I’d be OK if none of the Cubs guys had made it. Then again, we’re talking Javy Baez and Willson Contreras, and those guys are freaks of nature when it comes to next-level energy. Contreras has caught more innings this season than any catcher in the league, while Baez is spending his days off, playing baseball with youth groups. My hat’s off to both, as they just can’t seem to get enough.

The final series’ leading up to the break could have serious implications in the National League Central. If the Brewers do figure it out, Pittsburgh may find themselves 12 games back. Cincinnati is reeling from their loss in Cleveland Wednesday night (final score CLE-19, CIN-4), and they’ll be hungry going into St. Louis for a three-game set. Cincinnati wins, coupled with Pittsburgh losses, could have the Reds in fourth place at the break, while a sweep of the Cards would have the Reds just a game back of third.

Buckle up Cubs’ fans, the NL Central is picking up steam, and it’s either time to drive the train or jump clear of the tracks.

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