For the Chicago Cubs so much concern was going on within this team before the All-star break. After their 9th game there 7 of 9 in the games played since the All-star break. After today's loss for the StLouis Cardinals to the Phillie's 14-6 the Cubs are in a real possibility to take over 1st place in the NL Central by the end of the weekend.
With Five games left on this home stand you would just hope the weather continues to help their bats find the bleacher seats in the outfield. The returning of Aramis Ramirez was like a real acquisition with his big bat in the middle of the order starting to take effect.
How Long will the Bats continue to rise to the occasion or will Pinella stimulate the lineup day to day to keep the bats finding the holes up and around Wrigley field. Cubs Fans have been waiting patiently for their team to play with consistency to a certain degree and give their injured the time needed to heal before reentering the lineup. With all but one starter going on the DL thus far this team has had Big Z, Lilly, Dempster, Harden, Hart, Wells & Marshall too contribute in keeping the Cubs close or giving them the opportunity to win each and every outing they take the mound.
Ted Lilly whom is the latest casualty will ne out for a minimum of 2 weeks and Kevin Hart with the like of Sean Marshall and or Jeff Smardgia will take the reins until Ted returns.
Pitching will continue to be the key to the Cubs success. As they showed us all year that with their consistent rotation the cubs had every chance to win although the clubs bats were anemic for weeks at a time. The change outside the pitching has been the otherwise alteration to their lineups. A simple change by moving Soriano down to the 6th hole and using Fukedome in the lead-off spot really augmented this teams chances in not only hitting but driving in runs in key situations. The Cubs have the talent on and off the bench to mix and shake to equal offense. The addition of Jake Fox and Jeff Baker has indeed put again more chances to make runs. Lou Pinella has an arsenal at his right pocket.. Let's not forget the little talented Sam Fuld whom has jumped back & forth to Iowa and back. Sam has sparked this team in the few games played... and these games were important for the psyche.
We now have a fairly large # of Bullpen relievers ready to help this team when their number is called upon. Somehow I still think we will see Sam Fuld up again to help aid in specific scenario's where his bat & glove can be used early and later in ball games.
With less than one week left before the trade deadline not much is expected in the Cubs making any type of large trade. Somehow Jim Hendry has a way of using his phones to
overcome any obstacle which refrains the Cubs from getting that one body or player whom can further add stability or depth to this team. The addition of one added left handed bat off the bench and or another short lefty reliever is something I'd expect for this week is out.
The Chicago Cubs are right where they want to be and with the rite coaching along with Sharpe management, their is NO ! reason the Chicago Cubs can't not only win this division but with the NL. Some will say the Dodgers and Phillie's are the two big boys whom will win this crown. I say let the Cubs slip under the radar and use all their resources to get the job complete. I wanted to finally say the one area of concern is the 7th hole or 2nd baseman position where we are the weakest offensively. Again Mr. Jim hendry will I hope go find a replacement to fill this void and even out the chemistry in the lineup.
For the starting pitching this is if not the most solid deepest rotation in the NL assuming our
starters like Big Z, Lilly, Dempster,Harden & Wells all get back playing together...
The Bull pen has really come together with Marshall, Guzman ,Marmoul and Gregg leading the way. Heilman and Jeff Samardzija are the two that are a concern. Whether or not BJ Ryan will help pitching from the left side, we have three relievers in Justin Berg, Jeff Stevens & Kevin Hart whom can fit the need and answer the call when Pinella calls on them. Again readers the key to this team making a serious run is how there resources are inserted and the talent is put to use in at what extreme.
Baseball has it's ways of playing it's own game without notice. I suppose all anyone one can do is try and make the moves prior to avoid bad situations. Put aside Stats for a minute and just know this team is built to scorer runs and more so stop the bats from scoring them...
just go do it is the game.
The Cubs have some concern