Record: 1-7 (1-3 vs. Milwaukee, 0-4 vs. L.A. Dodgers of Anaheim)

The Cubs, fresh off a week capped by a sweep of the defending champion Giants in San Francisco, failed to build any momentum in their return to Wrigley. First came losses in three of four games to the cellar dwelling/Braun-less Brewers, low-lighted by ninth inning bullpen melt-downs by Pedro Strop (5 earned runs given up in Monday’s 5-0 loss) and Kevin Gregg (failing to hold a one-run lead in the Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss). The Brew Crew swept a day/night doubleheader Tuesday, the big blow in game one being a 3-run game-tying blast by Khris Davis (who now has 38 less homers than that other Chris Davis of Baltimore). Jean Segura doubled in the winning run two batters later. About the only good to come of the series was Len Kasper, on the eve of Lollapalooza, not once mentioning some band only he and about five other people knew about.

Next came the red-hot Dodgers, who swept the home team four straight while holding the Baby Bears to six runs in the series. Presumptive N.L. MVP/Rookie of Year/Heisman Trophy winner Yasiel Puig nearly destroyed Wrigley Field with his bat and also by smashing into walls and making huge divots in the outfield with his powerful arms. Shut out the last two games of the series (including one started by Chris Capuano, who got his 700th career win vs. Chicago Saturday) the boys have to be pretty happy to slink out of town for a few games lest they be mocked by their fans at their favorite local eateries.

–The Cubs finished July 14-13 for their first winning month since last July. Theo Epstein has ordered all calendars in Wrigley Field be changed so all months are listed as July.
–The club debuted their new slogan for 2014: “Wrigley Field – A nice place to play on your phone, get drunk and occasionally look at the players on the field.”

MVP: Junior Lake, for providing at least some semblance of hope for next year. He out-Puiged Puig in Thursday’s loss (Lake – two homers, Puig one).

LVP: Wood – Both the pitcher (Travis, for a “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn performance in Saturday’s loss, as he walked four batters in a row to force in a run) and the Cub bats (as they left so many men on base the city almost filed charges against them for abandonment. It’s downright criminal leaving all those runners out alone on those cold, dark base paths).

Ask the Magic 8-Ball: Can I suck down one more beer before the seventh inning stretch?

Magic 8-Ball says: “Outlook good”

Patrick O. Elia