The Chicago Cubs are a long way away from the team that got swept by the lowly Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley field towards the end of July. This Chicago Cubs team has won 14 of their last 15 games and managed to reach that mark, thanks in large part to yet another come from behind win against their crosstown rivals, the Chicago Whitesox.
These Cubs can seemingly do no wrong, as witnessed by the fact that Starlin Castro, who was benched at the beginning of the week for struggling all season started on Friday and went 3 for 4 at the plate. The first game of the series for the Cubs went much like the last seven went at Wrigley. The team just finished a home stand where they went 7-0, including a three game sweep against the Milwaukee Brewers, a team the Chicago Cubs have had trouble with this season.
On Friday, Castro was one of the Chicago Cubs players that people had their eyes on, but it was Chris Coghlan who really raised eyebrows. Coghlan hit a three-run homer in the top of the third that gave his team the lead. When the Whitesox managed to actually take the lead back later in the game, Coghlan hit another solo homer in order to tie the game. One batter later, Anthony Rizzo hit another homer, this one an epic blast and it gave the Chicago Cubs the lead for good.
Despite the fact that starter Kyle Hendricks didn’t have his best stuff, the Chicago Cubs found yet another way to win a ballgame they likely would have lost a month or even a few weeks ago. The team has apparently taken the next step and the eight game streak is the longest the team has put together since it’s 2008 season where the Chicago Cubs looked like the odds on favorite to go to the World Series.
This year, the team is an upstart who has been fighting just to get into the playoffs. After Joe Maddon’s boys were swept by the Phillies, they had actually fallen 1.5 games out of the second wild card spot. It’s almost as if the team saw that series, which included a no-hitter as a kind of wakeup call. Since then, the team has managed to not only get back into the second wild card spot, but they’ve built a 4.5 game lead on the San Francisco Giants and moved to just 1.5 games behind the first wild card spot. While there’s still a lot of baseball left to play, the Chicago Cubs are looking like a force to be reckoned with.
[Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images]