Chicago Cubs are likely in a make-or-break stretch

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Very few fans and media pundits could have predicted the Chicago Cubs‘ success thus far this season. As June is nearly complete, the Cubs find themselves in a tight battle with the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in their division despite having recently gone up against some of the premier teams on the west coast (San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Dodgers).

The Chicago Cubs need to see a stretch of winning to keep their season alive.

While the Brewers have benefitted from playing over a month’s worth of games against cupcake teams below .500, the Cubs have managed to hover above water in their toughest month of the season. It hasn’t looked pretty at times but the Cubs are driven to make the front office and naysayers think twice about giving up on the rest of the season once the July trade deadline rolls around.

In reality, a lot can happen over the next few weeks before Jed Hoyer and his staff has to decide whether to be buyers or sellers. The Cubs can get on a roll as their schedule starts to ease up again, validating the belief that they are playoff contenders at the very least. On the other hand, it’s possible that the wheels can fall off the bandwagon, depending on how the Cubs perform against the Dodgers and Brewers over the coming days.

One thing that has separated this Cubs’ team from recent years has been their resiliency. Any time the Cubs have gone through a rough patch, they seem to rattle off a string of wins shortly after. Maybe it’s because expectations prior to the season were much lower than normal given that the front office seemed to signal with their actions that they were willing to rebuild rather than try to contend.

The front office’s lack of faith in the Cubs’ roster may have inadvertently created an additional chip on everyone’s shoulder to go out and prove all doubters wrong. So far it has worked better than anyone could have anticipated.  The Cubs have been getting contributions from so many unexpected callups. Their bullpen has also been the glue to this team, which in years past was often considered to be a glaring weakness.

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While the Cubs are continuing to defy the odds placed upon them on paper, it can turn sideways in a blink of an eye if they go through another rough stretch against the Dodgers and Brewers. Hopefully, that’s not the case but with a deadline fast approaching, now is not the time for an unpleasant slump.