#Cubs to begin Sept. prep work

The Cubs were expected to have a refresher course on Wednesday and Thursday to prep for the final month of play.

Hitting coach John Mallee got a head start on Tuesday, working with players on situational hitting.

“We need to get better at that,” manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday. “As we move down the stretch drive, to win the close games, tough games, you have to be able to do those things well.”

Maddon met with the coaches last week to formulate the plan. He’s done this the last two seasons.

“There’s a lot of good stuff going on but here comes September, staring us in the face,” Maddon said. “To make hay this month, you’ve got to play a complete game on a nightly basis. We are capable of pitching well, catching the ball well. If we make the mental adaptation in the box, we can play good offense, too. I think it’s the mind. You can practice your physical swing as long as you want but if you’re not able to make the adaptation mentally, it’s not going to work.”

— Carrie Muskat