Cubs struggling in midst of big season

By Scott Nicol

The Chicago Cubs are the top team in baseball, but have lost six out of their last seven games, their worst stretch of the season.

The Cubs went just 16-12 for the entire month of June, still a very respectable record at four games above .500. But after their 35-15 start, the month marked a dry spell in the season for the club.

At one point this season, the Cubs were projected to have 119 wins which if accomplished, would give them the best record of any baseball team ever as only three teams have attained 116 wins throughout the history of baseball.

After everything clicked for the team early in the season, injuries seem to be stockpiling as Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, Miguel Montero, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist all missed games in June, the first two still being on the disabled list.

Even with one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, the Cubs are running thin on extras. Because of these injuries, the Cubs have had to call up and rely on highly touted prospects such as outfielder Albert Almora Jr., and catcher/outfielder Willson Contreras. Contreras showed why he was such a highly touted prospect as he sent the first pitch he saw over the vines at Wrigley Field for a home run.

The pitching has not been nearly as sharp for the Cubs either, especially from the middle relief pitchers. Jake Arrieta has come back down to earth, not getting out of the fifth inning in his last four starts after going a club-record 23 consecutive starts recording a quality start (at least six innings pitched while giving up three earned runs or less).

The Cubs will have a chance to catch a breather during this month’s all-star break and will come back in the second half of the season looking to clinch the division for the first time since 2008.