The Cubs lost their fourth straight game Friday, also marking losses in six of their last seven games. It shouldn't come as much of a shock to anyone paying attention, though, because there is a simple explanation: They were on the road.
That's it. The Mariners have a better road record than the Cubs. So do the Pirates, White Sox, Blue Jays and on and on we could go. GIven the talent level and the Cubs' 41-19 home record (only the Dodgers, Astros and Yankees are better at home), this is pretty unacceptable and embarrassing.
And in fact, if things don't change course somehow, this inability to do anything away from Wrigley Field is going to cost them a playoff spot.
The Cubs have 19 games left on the road compared to 21 at home, so maybe they win enough at home to somehow hold onto a wild card spot, but with the Cardinals having a pretty easy schedule remaining, at this point it's hard to believe the Cubs are favorites to win the division.
Also, if they are in a fight the last week of the season for a playoff spot, forget about it -- unless things change. They close with six road games. The final three are in St. Louis where you can bet the Cardinals would love to send their rivals to the north packing for the offseason.
Whether it's getting obliterated early and waving the white flag the rest of the game (which happened last Saturday and Tuesday), losing a pitcher's duel because they can't hit away from the friendly confines (as was the case Friday) or suffering a bullpen meltdown (Thursday and Friday), the Cubs just can't win as much as they need to on the road.
And it very well might break up the franchise's best-ever stretch of postseason appearances. As noted, this is simply unacceptable.