The Cubs’ first winning month of the season, (16-13) in August, puts them in position to catch Pittsburgh for fourth place in the NL Central.
Of course that’s not going to save Mike Quade’s job or make the season any less miserable, but it would give Chicago a shred of respectability placing ahead of the always dreadful Pirates and the major’s worst club, Houston.
Reality finally settled in on Pittsburgh in mid July after reaching a season-high seven games above .500 to go along with the division lead as of July 19. But the Pirates have simply collapsed since posting a mark of (11-30).
They’re now 12-games sub .500, 18-games back of Milwaukee, and just three wins better than Chicago. A harsh reality, indeed.
The Cubs, meanwhile, have three more games remaining against Pittsburgh starting this weekend at Wrigley Field. And similar to San Francisco, this is another winnable series for Chicago.
While the Cubs enjoy an off day on Thursday the Pirates are scheduled to play a make-up game against the Dodgers in Pittsburgh.
That means the Buccos are traveling overnight from Houston, arriving home at 3:30am, playing L.A. at 4pm and then catching another late flight to Chicago for a 1:20 start Friday afternoon–Advantage Cubs.
This series doesn’t exactly hold the drama of a playoff chase, but for the Cubs, it’s about as close as they can get to one.
And if the Cubs can catch Pittsburgh this weekend, maybe they can then run down the third place Reds who are eight games up on Chicago.
With one month left in the season, you just never know what could happen.