Monday, September 12, 2005

The ride is almost over...

The roller coaster season is coming into the station.

Following a tremendous road trip--that saw the Cubs go 8-2 and actually climb back into the Wild Card Standings printed in the Trib and Bright One-- the Cubs returned to Wrigley Field Monday night. Greg Maddux did his job, holding the Redlegs to 2 runs through seven innings. The Cub offense was silent and the team continued to struggle at home. A Matt Murton bomb in the third was overshadowed by a homer by Javier Valentin and two from Wily Mo Pena. The Northsiders fell 5-2.

So we knock another day off of the calendar and we see that like it or not this roller coaster ride is nearly over. Despite the Cubs recent good play they still sit 2 games below the .500 mark at 71-73--3 losing streaks of seven or more seem to stand out. With 18 games left on the schedule the Cubs have to go 11-7 just to finish with 82 wins. Finishing above .500 for the third straight year is not going to be easy for the Fabulous Baker Boys.

After Wily Mo's homerun in the top of the ninth, Wrigley Field emptied pretty fast. Outside the ballpark it was really somber. Going home from the park, I thought about where the Cubs are at with this 71-73 record. The Cubs have been bad the majority of my life, many seasons a 71-73 record at this point would be okay or celebrated. This year that is not the case. I sense that the EXPECTATIONS for this franchise have risen. I hope they have.

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