• HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian....

First thing’s first. I’m a White Sox fan, and I took on the assignment of prescribing what the Cubs need to keep winning as an exercise in objectivity (or to try and magnify each flaw – viciously). You decide. But the truth is, it’s a very intriguing season when both Chicago’s North Siders and South Siders are in first place of their respective divisions. Oh and they meet for the first time this season in about four hours.

But before I descend into a point-by-point comparison of the two teams, allow me to switch gears and focus on the Cubbies.

Consistency is the key word. Lou Piniella’s Cubs hadn’t been swept all season until that pesky team from Florida took them to task this week. They did lose two in a row in a few occasions, but they usually followed those mini-streaks with a healthy string of wins (usually more than three) that have facilitated for that first-place 45 and 28 record (as of Friday, June 20, 10 a.m.).

On a statistical level, the Cubs are also on top. First in the National League in runs scored, team average, team on-base percentage, and second in RBIs; and first in team ERA and batting average against. So in essence, all they have to do is keep the engine running and coast into the playoffs. If you do the math, they have to play slightly better than .500 ball for the rest of the season, and they’ll win around 90 games. In a division where they already lead third-place Pittsburgh by double digits, and where an injured Albert Pujols won’t be a threat, the Cubs are almost a shoo-in to win it (and don’t give me any crap for the Brewers, their pitching is shoddy).

If they want to keep their consistency, however, the Cubs are gonna have to do something about injuries. Carlos Zambrano visits the doctor today to find out if his shoulder can hold up for the rest of the season. He’ll miss one start, but the tension in Cub land is palpable, almost to a point where the season is dependent on Big Z’s ability to go the distance this year. And don’t forget that Alfonso Soriano is out with a broken hand (though he may start taking batting practice on Monday).

It’s no surprise, then, that the Cubs have sent scout to watch pitchers like A.J. Burnett, and are increasingly being mentioned in trade talks for pitching.

But with the season going as it is, the Cubs are on a roll. Their free agent signings are producing, their starter-turned-closer has finally bit the bullet and gotten the hang of it. The fans are wired with expectations. And yes, even cross-town rivals like myself like the possibility of the Cubs and White Sox meeting in the World Series. So what do the Cubs need? Maybe a little hocus pocus to keep it going. Or another arm, whichever comes first.

-What They Need Index-

6 Responses to “What They Need: Chicago Cubs – Some Hocus Pocus”

  1. melissa says:

    46-28, thanks to the Aramis Ramirez walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth. (In case any White Sox fans missed it.)

  2. Alejandro Leal says:

    Well yea, at least I posted my WTSN for the Cubbies before the drama. Just you wait and see today…

  3. melissa says:

    Let’s just call it 47-28. Now, I’ll just wait and see what happens Sunday night.

  4. Alejandro Leal says:

    Boy was I prophetic

    [stormy cloud over his head]

  5. What happen to the “What They Need” Series? Nothing in the last week, what a bunch of slackers!

  6. Alejandro Leal says:

    We’re on it! Expect an LA Dodgers What They Need tomorrow!

Leave a Reply

Marketplace

    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:

    Archives

What's Popular

Featured posts

220px-Bbwaa_logo_web

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

According to the internet, "The Little Napoleon" John McGraw was the greatest manager of all time.

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]