The Cubs need to stay hot if they want to stay in this close NL Central division race.
Carlos Zambrano is the most recent victim of the DL for the Cubs. These things have happened a lot to the Cubs this season, but they have battled to stay close to the top of the NL Central. Aramis Ramirez has also been hurt recently.
This time it’s his left shoulder. It is not, however, supposed to be serious, and Ramirez will decide Monday whether he will play the last game of the four-game series against the Rockies.
As of Saturday, the Cubs were only one game behind St. Louis, but that could change in a heartbeat. Holliday and Pujols are starting to hit, and if the Cubs don’t do the same thing, they could see St. Louis run away with the division.
Both the Cubs pitching and batting have been very inconsistent, but as of late the two are staring to come together. Rookie Randy Wells is still having a tremendous year and is the best pitcher on the team right now. Derek Lee has started to act like the old D Lee, hitting home runs and driving in runs.
While still not playing like he should, Milton Bradley is hitting better. With an average still under .250, Bradley hasn’t shown a great performance after the All-Star break but he has made some improvement.
The bullpen still remains a mystery. Sometimes they perform well, and other times they just plain suck. Carlos Marmol isn’t showing the same dominance that he had last year.
Kevin Gregg has been decent, but fans still don’t trust him when the Cubs have a slim lead heading into the ninth. No one in the bullpen has become a sleeper. No one has really stood out, and I think that has really hurt the Cubs’ bullpen.
It’s a mystery to me how this team is still very close to making the playoffs. I don’t know if it’s because of the Cards not playing well, the overall mediocrity of the division, or just that the Cubs are playing well when they need to.
The last month and a half will prove what team can play better ball in the closing stages of the season. My pick is St. Louis.