I know that things aren't great for all things Cubs at the moment, but I think a lot of people are overlooking things. I felt it appropriate to add, yet another, thread regarding the topic of optimism with this team.
Back at the end of May, I said this about the Brewers (I'm paraphrasing):
"The Brewers have a great offense, but like the Astros, are far too one dimensional of a team to sustain any sort of prolonged winning percentage in order to keep pace. Teams like this certainly get hot and have the bats carry them for a time, remember how the Astros were 'a surprise contender' early on? I can see the Brewers getting hot and pulling really close around the All Star Break, but will likely fade come August."
Now, obviously the Brewers have tilted the scales a bit by adding Sabathia, and thereby giving them a much more dynamic team. It seems that the Brewers are trying to cheat the math a bit and avoid the eventual slump they'd hit by bolstering the rotation before that time comes. Their chances are good, but they are still a hit first, pitch second, team, and with, still, a shoddy bullpen, it won't necessarily be difficult for them to win, but it's hard to imagine them to keep on winning at the pace they've been winning at.
Are the Cubs in a slump right now? You bet. You know the good news? Apparently, the Cubs slumping are a .500 team! That is, without a doubt, PHENOMENAL! Since Soriano got hit in the hand, per Al's thread, the Cubs are 17-17. What do you hope for when a star player goes down if not 'Boy, I just hope that they can play .500 ball till he comes back'? And I know that stats can be deceiving, and that they've been worse lately. But looking at their last 10 games, guess what, they're 5-5.
This team, at it's worst, is still a .500 team.
Early on in the season, everything was coming up Cubs. Since Soriano went down, think of the things the team has had to endure:
Ramirez slumping, not once, but twice!
Lee leading MLB (I think) with 20 DPs
Fukdome being awful
Zambrano on the DL
Johnson on the DL
Eyre on the DL
Marmol imploding AND exploding
Howry being just bad
DeRosa in the OF with less than stellar defense
Wood being unavailable with a blister
The two little players that could, and the over-the-hill slugger being the only offensive threats in the lineup.
All that, and this team is STILL in first place by the same amount as they were when Soriano went down. Granted the Brewers have gained ground, but so what? We've been cold and they've been hot. I'm looking forward to August and, hopefully, a revitalized team.
I'm not going to say "Step away from the ledge", because part of me is there too. I could've sworn that Johnson was throwing 88 MPH because he certainly sent this offense back to 2006 for a night. But it's a slump, it happens.
The highs of the season wouldn't be so great if there were never any lows.