Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras talk about improvements that Cubs need to make
|Saturday, July 6, 2019, 8:39 PM- -|
CHICAGO — Saying that "there's no reason to think that we can't do that" when asked about the Chicago Cubs turning things around following a rough six-week stretch, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was confident while speaking on the Cubs' aspirations for the second half of the season on Saturday. Bryant also acknowledged the difficulty in playing in the National Central League, which has been arguably the most competitive division in baseball thus far this season.
"Every game's going to be a fight," Bryant said of what the Cubs expect when taking on division opponents. "We would love to go out there and win every game, but we know it's not going to be like that this year."
Entering Saturday night, the Cubs stood half of a game behind the Milwaukee Brewers at the top of the divisional standings, and Bryant fully expects the race for the National League Central pennant to be tight up until the end of the regular season. Bryant was also asked about the rumors surrounding the Cubs' front office potentially making significant changes ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, but the former MVP sloughed off the trade talk and instead focused on what the Cubs can to do improve with the roster that they currently have.
"We're not trying to turn it around because of the trade deadline," Bryant told the press. "We're trying to turn it around because we want to win."
The Cubs went 14-15 in June for their first losing month since May of 2017, and they got off to a rocky start to July by dropping three of four in a series at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week. The Cubs' losing stretch has featured several things, one of which has been Chicago's inability to excel at the nuanced elements of the game. While the home runs for the batters and the strikeouts for the starting pitchers have still been plentiful, the Cubs have struggled in practically every other facet.
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras touched on that while discussing the Cubs' recent lackluster play with reporters, saying, "We've been doing a good job, but we have to get better at some little things.
Bryant reiterated that point by declaring that the Cubs need to focus on putting together more productive at-bats, playing solid defense and eliminating mental mistakes. The Cubs are teeming with talent, but their style of play since late May has left a lot to be desired, and if they are to return to their winning ways without the front office having to make a slew of changes, the North Siders will have to revamp nearly every aspect of their game.
KB says "every game is going to be a fight" going forward. ?????? pic.twitter.com/szFuLCvJuf— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) July 6, 2019