The Friendly Confines greets us from April to September every year. The smell of onion filled hot dogs and freshly trimmed grass remain the same. The ivy covered walls still grow thicker and denser by the day. The iconic rooftop seats are yet to change. For the last hundred plus years, Wrigley Field and the Cubs consistently bring Chicagoans a sense of community. The culture of Wrigley Field is proven unlike any other, as the aging ballpark continues to cement itself deeper into baseball greatness. Tradition has become a way of life for the northsiders. However throughout all timeless rituals, signs of change are noticeably taking shape. While the timeless venue remains much the same, the team it features does not. Gear up Cubs fans, the age old tradition of losing in Chicago is all but over; Chicago better start preparing itself for a deep postseason run.
While the 9 game streak ended yesterday, the Cubs have won their last 15/17 games, and they now stand 18 games above .500. The Cubbies currently hold the last Wild Card spot with a record of 67-49, 3.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants. It’s no secret that the Cubs are officially hitting their stride, and in this article, I will take you through every reason why.
In the past 10 game stretch, the Cubs have averaged 5.3 runs per game, which is 1.2 runs higher than the league average. The Cubs are also ranked in the top 5 in home runs for the National League. While slugging may not be the strongest attribute of the Northsiders, it certainly has picked up pace in the second half of the season.
The Cubs have the league's 4th best ERA, trailing only the Cardinals, Pirates, and Mets. They also have pitched an MLB 3rd best 13 shutouts. Wait, it gets better. Opponents of the Cubs have an MLB worst .237 batting average. All season long Chicago has proven to have one of the elite mounds in all of baseball, and it’s a proven fact that defense wins championships.
Oh yeah, and Jake Arrieta is 14-6, with an ERA of 2.39…. Beat that, Cardinals.
What to expect moving forward:
The Cubs have played 116 games meaning that they have 46 games to go. The productivity of their bats have skyrocketed into one of the league's best. The mound, while already proven, is getting better by the day. Assuming the Cubs don’t fizzle out, an almost inevitable Wild Card matchup will take place between them and the Pirates. Win that game and a legitimate playoff run is underway, lose that game and its 5 long months until the 2016 campaign (for a championship, not presidency) begins. Get ready fans, sh*t’s about to get serious.