#Cubs Maddon: “Let’s go for the division”

With Thursday’s win over the Braves, the Cubs kept pace with the Pirates in the NL Wild Card standings, and are four games behind Pittsburgh. But the Cubs are thinking bigger.

“I think at this point in time, we don’t intend to be a Wild Card [team],” pitcher Jake Arrieta said. “We still think we can win our division. We’ve got 35, 40 games left, maybe a little more. We’re still in a position here where we can jump some guys if we can get hot and have some good fortune with the teams ahead of us.”

Asked after Thursday’s game if he was ready to name his Wild Card game starter, manager Joe Maddon smiled.

“Let’s go for the division,” Maddon said.

— Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

I admire the enthusiasm from Arrieta and no doubt he, not Lester is the Cubs’ bona fide Ace. But going for the division is unrealistic considering the occasional pedestrian performance from Lester, the less than confident outings from Hammel and Hendricks and the seemingly unstoppable Pirates and Cardinals being ahead of the Cubs. This fan will consider it a blessing if the Cubs make one of the two wildcard spots this season. Until Lester becomes the number 3 pitcher in the rotation (by adding Price in the off season, I hope) and adding a closer, this team may remain viable as a wild card contender but not a division winner. Not knocking Lester (although his long term contract is looking a little suspect??) just acknowledging we have a better pitcher in Arrieta and we need one more better than Lester to add to the rotation to lead what is arguably a very good, young offense ready to score runs for a great pitching staff. The great pitching staff has yet to be completed.

Logically you’re correct – but you don’t play the game with logic, you play it with heart. You gotta keep that mentality that you’re the best.

Aloha fonzie- saw you had another posting about what to do, in terms of the lineup, when rosters can expand. I am with you, right now Maddon has a good group going and they are still learning how to play with one another but it is coming around and Coghlan at second has been great, who would have seen that one? So, if they want to expand in September to allow a Baez some at bats, I can see it but they are in a playoff run right now and the combo of Russell/Coghlan is good as well as producing. If anything, the pitching needs to get straightened out and so this might be a good time to bring up some arms to see if any can be up for a period of time, for example a Wada as a starter and/or other folks for the bullpen. Well, I am rooting for the wife’s Giants right now. Former Cub Marlon Byrd had his first homer as a Giant in the first inning, a 400+ shot. Then in the second inning, MadBum hit a 420+ blast his 5th of the season! I hope they can hold on as the Pirates are a pesky team, they do not give up. Mahalo!

Fonzie Lester has been a top 20-25 pitcher in the majors what else do you want?!? So he has had some bad games and really only one recent …. Big deal it happens especially when the wind is howling out. Relax

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The Dodgers face the Cubs during the next home stand. Should be good games.

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