After dismantling their team over the trade deadline, there just wasn’t much hope for the Chicago Cubs to finish with a respectable record in 2021.
Indeed, by trading Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Craig Kimbrel, Joc Pederson, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Jake Marisnick, Chicago decided to rebuild and restock their mediocre farm system.
The major league team took an obvious hit, and predictably, the team has been sliding in the standings.
The Cubs, however, are not as bad as, say, the Baltimore Orioles or the Arizona Diamondbacks, and they actually have a chance to finish with a not-so-horrible record.
As of Monday afternoon, they held a 63-75 mark, which is bad, but not monumentally bad.
The Cubs Are Streaking
That record has been fueled by an ongoing six-game winning streak.
Yes, the post-deadline 2021 Cubs team has won six games in a row.
Granted, four of those victories have come against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.
The Cubs, as a result, have been showing some life to begin September.
No, they are not making the playoffs under any circumstances, but that doesn’t mean we should stop watching them.
And yes, their rest-of-the-season record after the deadline matters, because the Cubs are currently in player evaluation mode and there are actually quite a few interesting players developing their skills in a competitive environment.
During their current six-game winning streak, the Cubs have won two against the Minnesota Twins and four against the Pirates.
Those are both last-place teams, but the Cubs have been playing well and have proven to be better than those two clubs.
During the streak, Chicago has scored 36 runs and allowed 25.
That’s good for a plus-11 run differential, which is actually a good sighting considering the club has a minus-98 mark for the full season.
Also during the streak, some players have stood up on the Cubs’ roster.
The Second Half Has Been Useful For The Cubs To Evaluate Talent
Frank Schwindel has a .464/.500/1.000 line with five homers and 12 RBI over his last seven games.
He was picked up off waivers by the Cubs, and so far, he has been extremely impressive.
Frank Schwindel extends his hitting streak to 8 games, which ties his career high, with a single in the 1st.
Coming into today, Schwindel had a .370 average since he was called up July 30. #Cubs
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) September 6, 2021
Rafael Ortega has slowed down a bit, but remains an intriguing piece for the future.
Luckily, Ian Happ has started to justify his place in the Cubs’ future plans; he is hitting .414/.414/.793 over his last seven games, with three home runs.
In fact, Happ is scorching hot for his last 30 games, with a .312/.348/.606 line, eight blasts, and 21 RBI.
— Crawly's Cubs Kingdom (@crawlyscubs) September 6, 2021
The Cubs have also found some stability in the back of their bullpen, with unexpected contributor Rowan Wick acting as the closer.
Codi Heuer, who came over from the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline, is working on an 11-game scoreless streak and is controllable for several more years after 2021.
It’s unrealistic to think the Cubs will win the National League Central next year, but they are showing something, and that’s huge for the future.NEXT: Chicago Cubs Fans Must Still Be In A State Of Shock