Lost in all the excitement, close games, anger, agony, and Neifi-Burnitz-inspired euphoria is the fact that somehow the bleak hopes of the Cubs winning the wildcard has turned from faint hope to reachable goal. The Cubs haven’t played like a playoff team, but as it stands, they’re 3 games back with 2 teams ahead of them. Last week they were 4.5 games out with 5 teams ahead of them.
I can’t begin to speculate on the forces behind this change. Good fortune? Regression to the mean? Good luck? Playing the Giants? Whatever it is, for me at least, stubborn faith in the face of overwhelming evidence that I should just accept a 33rd year of personal pain has changed into dim hope.
Given injuries and our manager, this is a .500 ball club that, though filled with surprises both surprising and depressing, has played like it. But even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. Maybe this team can catch fire. Maybe Neifi Perez will get some of those Brian Roberts contacts, Matt Murton will hit in the majors like he did in the minors, Dusty will play him, Hendry will bilk an impact player for Patterson and Bobby Brownlie, and the pieces will fall in place.
As always, I’ll be living and dying by what transpires between game 111 and 162.