Friendly Confines

I am not sure how to act with the Chicago Cubs playing meaningful games in the month of August. Two weeks ago when the Cubbies were swept by the lowly Philadelphia Phillies, including being no hit for the first time in 50 years, I was ready to throw in the towel for the 2015 season.

Since that embarrassing home stand, the Cubs have gone on a tear, winning 12 of their last 14 games, including a four game sweep of their closest rival, San Francisco, for the final wild card spot in the National League. Some signs of the old Cubs remain, their bullpen still ranks among the worst in baseball, and their offense is just starting to wake up. This weekends series pointed out the shortcomings.  On Saturday, with an 8-2 lead heading into the ninth inning, the Cubs pen gave up three runs and the home team squeaked by 8-5 with the tying run at the plate when the final out was made.

Sunday, Chicago led San Francisco 2-0 entering the final inning. Most teams would shut down the opposition one-two-three and head for the clubhouse, not the Cubs. Hector Rondon came out of the bullpen, he gave up a single to the first batter he faced, the second batter smacked a double down the right field line. Rondon hit the third batter to load the bases with nobody out and a slim lead. He then promptly struck out the next three batters to preserve the win. The four game sweep put the Cubs three and one-half games ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card spot. The way they did it is making me an old man. Certainly is fun, though.

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