Chicago Cubs Lose Series to LA Dodgers, But Have Bigger Problems

Marco Scola@@Marco_ScolaContributor IIIAugust 22, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21:  Manager Lou Piniella of the Chicago Cubs walks in the dugout before the game with the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 21, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Something is seriously wrong with the Chicago Cubs.

After losing a must-win series against the National League's 2nd worst team San Diego earlier in the week, the Cubs have now dropped their fourth game this week, losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 last night.

The loss brings the Cubs to 7-12 this month, and 3-7 in the last 10 games. Since the start of August, the Cubs have fallen from just 1 game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central to 7 games back. The wild-card now seems out of reach as they've fallen to 5th place, and 6 games back.

Will the Cubs make the playoffs? They've got to at least win the next two games against LA to close the series 2-2. They then find themselves in back-to-back three game series with the Nationals and Mets.

If they can find a way to sweep the Nationals and win the Mets series, that's 5 games right there, which with any luck could put the Cubs within 4 to 5 games of the Cardinals.

They then come home to play the Astros in a 3-game set and the White Sox in a one-game make-up. Again, if they find a way to sweep the Sox (which is just a win) and take the Astros series, that's another two games they can pick up on St. Louis.

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But it's the middle-end of September that will prove whether or not they make it. Three game series with the Pirates, Reds, and a four game series with Milwaukee could be the time when they close the gap for good.

If they catch fire, there's an opportunity to win 10 straight games. I'd be happy if they took 7 of 10. But they close out September with what could be the wild-card deciding series with San Francisco in which they go to the Giants for a four game series.

Long story short, the Cubs need to start winning, and do it on a consistent basis or this team is toast.