Internally, the last three games against the defending champion Boston Red Sox made up a series that the Chicago Cubs likely had circled on the calendar for some time now. The two teams have many similarities between them both historically and organizationally. Watching the three games, it looked like the Cubs were the team ready to make a second half run and not the Red Sox. It was a pleasant sight to see Chicago get up and play well all three games, and in turn they were able to take a huge step forward in their continued improved play as of late.
During the three-game sweep on the road, Chicago really played well in all three phases: pitching, hitting and defense. In the first two games, Jake Arrieta and Edwin Jackson shut down Boston’s attack, and in the finale the offense put on a barrage of hits pelting away at the Green Monster. The Cubs flat out dominated the Red Sox, and watching over the action was the dynamic duo of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who are getting ever so much closer to recreating the Boston Way in Chicago. They were three games that once again get fans excited for the possibilities and potential of what could be on the horizon on the North side.
In the finale, the Cubs put up 16 runs on 19 hits. Everyone 1-through-9 made a contribution. All nine players had at least one hit and a run scored. Seven of them had multiple hits, and only Anthony Rizzo was unable to record an RBI. The lineup crushed four home runs, and an unlikely Darwin Barney was a long ball away from the cycle. It was an impressive showing by a team that just completed their first winning month in about two years. What Chicago should do is keep the box scores from this series, frame them and carry them around everywhere they go. This series should serve as a reminder of what this bunch is really capable of when they do play well as a group.
When Epstein took over the guidance of the Cubs, one of his quotes was, “Baseball is a game best understood from 10,000 feet away and best enjoyed from the front row.” These past three games had to look really good from the front row for not only the present, but for the future as well. Epstein’s past also indicates that there is a whole lot more that can be enjoyed from the good seats.
In the end, the sweep by the Cubs on the road in Boston is a huge step forward in the continued development and progression of the franchise for the future. It now just needs to be sustained and built upon to make it worthwhile from not only the front row, but from the last row as well.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.