Six in a row: The Cubs are feeling 'unbeatable'


Six in a row: The Cubs are feeling 'unbeatable'

Joe Maddon thinks the Cubs have caught their second wind.

At this point, it's pretty much impossible to argue that.

The Cubs (64-48) pulled out their sixth straight victory Wednesday night, walking off the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-2, in front of 36,438 fans at Wrigley Field.

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After Hector Rondon blew a save by allowing an unearned run in the ninth, Miguel Montero ended it with an opposite-field blast to lead off the 10th inning.

Montero and the Cubs were on Cloud Nine in the clubhouse after the game.

"Right now, the feeling in the clubhouse is we're pretty unbeatable," Montero said. "... That's the kind of feeling that we actually get and hopefully it stays there and we keep believing it.

"We got a good ballclub. The young guys are just getting better and better. There's no reason why we should not win."

Before Tuesday night's game, Maddon spoke about how well the Cubs rookies have been playing, and they delivered again Wednesday as Kris Bryant homered and Addison Russell drove in a run with a two-out hit in the fifth inning.

Maddon said the Cubs were like a car that wouldn't quite turn over ("Like my old '65 Plymouth that Uncle Chuck used to drive all the time") coming out of the All-Star break.

"And then, eventually, it turns over, and all of a sudden, guys start feeling it a little bit," Maddon said. "I thought there was a certain amount of mental fatigue post-break. I think we're getting through that somewhat right now.

"And like I said, you put yourself in position, now it's the playoff hunt in September, energy just shows up. You don't have to look for it; it's there.

"So we're looking for that component that takes care of that, so that when you arrive at that moment, you're ready to rock and roll. That's what our guys are starting to get."

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The Cubs had only four hits Wednesday, but they made them count and played some stellar defense behind starter Jason Hammel and four relievers.

"There you go, man: Pitching and defense getting it done again," Maddon said. "I could not be more proud of our guys. ... If we don't play that kind of defense, we do not win it."

Anthony Rizzo made the highlight-reel play, jumping completely into the stands to make a catch in the sixth inning to ignite the crowd and the dugout ("Even old man David Ross was fired up," Rizzo said).

"These games are really helping us get into that strong mentality of, 'we can do this,'" Anthony Rizzo said. "Not that we haven't had that all year, but all year we've been grinding - five or six games over .500. Up to eight or nine [over], then go back down.

"We never really got into a nice little run. Right now, we feel that and everybody feels really good about it."

It was the Cubs' 12th win in their last 13 games. The Cubs gained a game on their direct competition Wednesday, pulling to within 1.5 games of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first wild card spot and extending their lead to 4.5 games over the San Francisco Giants for the second wild card.

"I couldn't be more proud of this group," Maddon said. "Most of them are young, but they come to play. I think they've gone through that intimidation moment or that 'happy to be here moment.'

"I think they feel like they belong here right now and they're showing up with a good look."

Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki


Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki

According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the Cubs are one of the teams interested in free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The 5-time All-Star will be holding a workout soon, with Chicago being one of the six teams reported to have a scout present at his workout.

Heyman did mention that while the Cubs aren’t necessarily the favorites right now, we will know how good of a chance they will have soon. Tulowitzki and his team are reported to be narrowing down their list to (at least) 6 teams.

Last season Tulowitzki played 66 games for the Blue Jays, batting .249 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI. For his career he is a .290 hitter and is looking for a bounce-back season after dealing with complications from bone spur injuries in both heels over the years.

Toronto has to pay the $38 million left on Tulowitzki's contract, freeing up other teams to sign the veteran to a more reasonable deal. Since the Blue Jays went the route of cutting him, teams can offer Tulowitzki a league minimum salary.

For the Cubs, he represents-however small-a chance to extract great value from a veteran player, which would be a big bonus considering how the Yu Darvish signing backfired in year one.

Tulowitzki is likely to be searching for playing time on a legit title contender, so if he can provide any solid offensive production going forward, he and the Cubs could be a solid match.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap


Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap

When nothing happens in Vegas, it stays in Vegas. Luke, Kap and Tony talk about the Cubs lack of moves during the Winter Meetings.

In this episode of the Cubs Talk Podcast with Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki:

00:10 - What happen in Vegas stays in Vegas and this year that means nothing. Luke, Kap & Tony talk Cubs lack of moves at Winter Meetings.

00:50 - Where the heck is all the money? This was supposed to be a wide-open window - we step on the accelerator.

01:25 - Cubs keep throwing money at the problem (Chatwood, Darvish) and it has become a cautionary tale.

02:50 - Are the Cubs playing at the shallow end of the kiddie pool?

03:50 - Tony talks about the volatility of the relief market.

05:15 - Where is the bullpen market? Brewers are making moves, but it's still "crickets" for the Cubs.

06:20 - Tony: Other than bullpen - Cubs have to address backup middle infielder most of all.

06:57 - Daniel Descalso rumors. Kap describes him as a grinder who fits the leadership mold.

07:47 - Luke is a little worried about Steve Cishek. He threw a career-high 70 innings last season.

09:34 - The guys talk about the possibility of a "second deadline" for the Winter Meetings to force clubs to make more moves.

11:06 - Luke: "I wanted to see Machado and Harper walking down the strip and making it rain!"

12:45 - Cubs still have so much to address. Some Cubs fans are starting to get a little itchy. Teams in the division are making moves. What about us?

14:45 - Question: Is Anthony Rizzo the third-best 1st baseman in the Central Division?

15:50 - Prediction time: What's biggest move the Cubs will make before opening day? Kap believes that Ian Happ will not be a Cub before the regular season starts.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast