Cubs

Cubs Road Ahead: Measuring stick in St. Louis

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Cubs Road Ahead: Measuring stick in St. Louis

CSN's Chris Boden and Todd Hollandsworth are getting you ready for what's next with this week's Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Cubs kicked off a four-game series in St. Louis Monday night as part of a seven-game road trip that also includes a stop in Milwaukee.

The four-game set in St. Louis represents a measuring stick for the Cubs, who came into the series at 13-10, 4.5 games behind the 18-6 Cardinals.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans]

"This is a good opportunity to go in there and prove what you're all about," Hollandsworth said. "It's a great test. I'm excited for it and the Cubs should be excited for it, too."

Hollandsworth also said the Cubs need to get their bats going after scoring just five runs against the Brewers over the weekend. The Cubs responded by putting up five runs in the first inning Monday night.

Check out what else Holly had to say in the video above.

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Big changes to the Cubs roster

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USA TODAY

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Big changes to the Cubs roster

Doug Glanville and Ozzie Guillen join Leila Rahimi on Baseball Night in Chicago to discuss all things baseball.

The talk about the trade that sent Cubs pitcher Mike Montgomery to the Royals in exchange for Martin Maldonado, Willson Contreras' injury that sent him to the injured list and an update on the White Sox roster moves and rebuild status.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: