The Cubs came out of the break leading the NL Central, but even that felt hollow. Someone had to be leading the Central, right? The Cubs hobbled into the All-Star break eager to have a few moments to take a breath and lick their wounds. After a brutal stretch of games in June in addition to playing 50 games in 52 days, it was sorely needed. Their play grew to look more and more tired, and it showed in their results.
A sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates in resounding fashion may well be just what the doctor ordered. Outside of the Pedro Strop hiccup in the eighth inning of the series opener, the results never seemed to be in doubt. What was their version of Michael’s Secret Stuff? The bullpen keeping runs off the board, a renewed focus at the plate that’s helped draw walks and get in hitter’s counts in important at-bats, and a defensive performance that matches their pedigree. Plus having Jon Lester impersonate Babe Ruth helps.
So is that it? Are the Cubs ‘fixed’ now? Of course not, dummy. But it all has to start somewhere. The Cubs came out of the All-Star break looking to clean up a season that was getting messy quickly. Phase One complete: they grabbed the broom. Time to start the clean up proper. Pitter-Patter, boys.
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