Another day, another walk off win for the Chicago Cubs. Earlier in the week when the Cubs' offense struggled mightily, I would never have guessed these last three games would have ended the way they did. Overcoming huge deficits and coming up in the clutch, it may look like the Cubs have started to turn the offense around.
People earlier in the week ripped apart Cubs' GM Jim Hendry, for doing away with Gerald Perry as the Cubs hitting coach and bringing in Von Joshua. While it is too early to tell if the move will pay off, the firing of Perry certainly sent a message. Players like Lee and Bradley had to feel in some part responsible for the Cubs letting go of Perry since they were the ones who were struggling at the plate, not Perry. These hitters take a lot of pride in what they do, and they have to feel like they let Perry down.
Now, this is all just speculation on my part, but I do feel that pride has played a big factor in this offensive resurgence. I mean, if a three day span can be called a resurgence. For whatever reason, this team needs to be poked with a stick at times to get going. The last few years it has been a Lou Piniella's tirades that have done the trick, but I truly believe that the firing of Gerald Perry will be this year's rallying point. Not because Perry was a bad coach, but because the players feel like it's their fault.
While there has been a lot to be excited about, there are still reasons to be cautious about this offense. Turning it on in the eighth inning and beyond is not a strategy that will succeed over a long period of time for any team.
There were two reasons the Cubs were so deadly in '07 and '08:
1. They could score early and put pressure on the other teams offense
2. They were good at executing in late game situations.
The Cubs certainly have reason No. 2 down as of late, but I don't think that this team will really get going until they can score early. This all depends on Bradley and Lee until Aramis gets back from his shoulder injury.
All this being said, I have greatly enjoyed watching these last few games. For all the Cubs' struggles, no one has run away with the NL Central and they are still in the thick of things. This team's offense is going to get much better at some time, and I think that time is soon.
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