It’s lonely at the top, let me tell you.
Cubs have taken sole possession of 1st place in the NL Central, and despite hitting almost every road block imaginable, have just plowed right through everything. Leaving April in the dust, the Cubs posted a scorching hot 19-8 in the month of May.
The Cubs sat at 11-15 in April with the future in jeopardy as they stared at what appeared to be a tumultuous month that contained series with the defending champion Dodgers, a reunion series with the Nationals, and a weekend in Boringville, USA (STL). Questions surrounding the future between the Cubs and Kris Bryant/Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez seemed all but answered and Cubs management was licking their chops thinking about the offers they would be accepting come trade season.
But the players chose to tell Jed and the rest of the front office to STFU.
The Cubs won 6 of the 7 series in May, including a sweep of those previously mentioned reigning champion Dodgers, and despite housing 12 players on the IL currently. And some big names at that: Heyward, Marisnick, Bote, Hoerner, Duffy, just to name a few. Additionally, we haven’t seen Anthony Rizzo on the field in a few days with a back problem. The hope is he comes back as soon as tonight.
What the Cubs are doing with the amount of injuries suffered is nothing short of miraculous. It is truly a “next man up” mentality. Guys like PJ Higgins, Patrick Wisdom, and Tommy Nance are making the most of their opportunities with the big club. Keegan Thompson came in and pitched 3.2 shutout innings against the Dodgers. The bullpen went weeks (yes, weeks) without giving up a single run. KRIS BRYANT HAS NOT PLAYED THIRD BASE SINCE APRIL 20th.
Let’s talk Kris Bryant, shall we?
He’s the MVP and the case is closed. He has played five positions, CONSISTENTLY, and has only two errors this year. With the bat, he is top five in the league in AVG, SLG, and OPS. The man can do everything, and deserves a blank check in front of him, a contract to keep him in Chicago for life. A contract so no one ever wears the number 17 again on the north side.
But where are we on that? Certainly the Cubs have proven they can and want to win. There is no way management can break this up, right? Right?…… I don’t know. In the back of my brain, I feel like Jed Hoyer could still have the team in 1st place come July and still make the moves to dissect and break the team apart. But how can you with the way this team is playing? They have shown their depth. Pitching has proven from starter to bullpen they can keep the team in the game until the very end more times than not. This team right now, despite contrary belief, IS built to win.
Will Jed let this team win, or will he sell high? Will we be saying goodbye to our beloved assets they took us to the promised land, or will we be celebrating with them some more? Would keeping them all season keep them with us in the future, or will we end up empty handed and still lose them all?
Despite all of the winning and the success in May, we still just don’t know. Would a similar June help? I don’t even know that. But winning is way more fun than losing through all of that, so we should just keep winning and see what happens.