Cubs

Road Ahead: Cubs will be tested against Bumgarner, Kershaw

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Road Ahead: Cubs will be tested against Bumgarner, Kershaw

CSN's JJ Stankevitz and Tony Andracki talk about the Cubs' test this week against Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw in the latest Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Cubs' winning streak hit five games on Monday, but North Siders will have quite the test this week on the road against the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs (72-51) are currently 6.5 games ahead of the Giants (66-58) for the final National League Wild Card spot. Meanwhile the Dodgers (67-56) are neck and neck with the Giants for the division lead.

With the Cubs, Giants and Dodgers in must-win games, something's gotta give. 

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The Cubs will have to go up against both team's aces, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw.

"I don't know how they are going to deal with it, but this is going to be a true test for this young offense," said Andracki.

The Cubs will have to make do without Jorge Soler, who will be out at least a month with an oblique strain, which means Joe Maddon will have to shuffle up the lineup a bit.

See what else Stankevitz and Andracki had to say about the upcoming week in the video above.

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

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Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

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USA TODAY

Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

Mark Prior's big-league playing career unfortunately fizzled out due to recurring injury woes, but he's making a name for himself in the coaching realm.

With Dodgers current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt transitioning into a new role, Prior is expected to takeover the position starting next season.

Cubs fans know the story of Prior's playing career all too well. The Cubs drafted him second overall in the 2001, with Prior making his MLB debut just a season later. He went on to dominate in 2003, posting an 18-6 record, 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts, a season in which he made the All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

However, Prior's season ended on a sour note, as he was on the mound during the Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Prior exited the game with a 3-1 lead, but the Cubs surrendered seven more runs that inning, eventually falling to the Marlins 8-3 before losing Game 7 the next day. 

Prior struggled to stay healthy after 2003, eventually retiring in 2013 after multiple comeback attempts. While many blame his injury-riddled career on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Prior does not. 

While we can only wonder what could've been with Prior to the pitcher, it's good to see him still making an impact in baseball in some fashion.

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