I’ve been following the Cubs pretty closely since I last wrote about baseball. At the time, they had just begun to start playing better after a lackluster first half of the season, and they’ve kept it up. Soriano, Ramirez, and Lee have been swinging big bats for the last couple of weeks, and Murton has had a few key dingers as well (and hasn’t gotten much recognition for them as far as I can tell). After making headlines by commanding $91 million for a 5-year contract a month or two ago, ace Zambrano has by and large done a poor job at the mound, but he came through this past key weekend to fan the first four batters he faced and to dominate through most of the game. And young outfielder Sam Fuld, pulled up from the minor leages (the Tennessee Smokies, in fact) just this month, has made a big defensive difference in a couple of games. What a thrill this ride must be for him.
It’s been an exciting few weeks as the Cubs have been running neck and neck with the Brewers for the NL Central title. They’re suddenly three games in the lead with only six to play. By my reckoning, if Milwaukee wins all six of their remaining games, the Cubbies can still lose two and clinch the title (and three to tie, which I guess would result in a two-team playoff). It’s been 99 years since the Cubs have won a World Series, and they haven’t been a good team in my living memory. To have them in the running for their division and just a few steps away from a Series opportunity makes me giddier than I can reasonably account for. Go, Cubbies!