The surging Chicago Cubs played two games in London, England, this weekend in front of 55,000 crazy fans.
The Cubs took game one against the St. Louis Cardinals 9-1 but ultimately lost 7-5 in the London series finale.
Justin Steele continued his dominant 2023 campaign with six innings of one-run ball while throwing a season-high eight strikeouts during Saturday’s win.
Steele has been vital to the Cubs this season, and he will need to continue to produce if the team wants to contend in October. The Cubs, who once sat at 28-37 and fourth place in the National League Central, have gone 9-2 in their last 11 games. This stretch has boosted them to only two games below .500 and third place in a highly-contested division.
The Cubs trail only the Milwaukee Brewers (40-37) and Cincinnati Reds (41-37) for the division crown. The Cubs’ recent success has boosted morale not only within the players but the front office.
Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts confirmed to London fans that the Cubs intend to be buyers at the trade deadline and compete for the division.
“Obviously, we’re buyers right now,” Ricketts said.
“I think what we have is a core that can compete for the division and compete for the playoffs, and now it’s finding the missing parts to add to it.”
A lot of important questions need to be answered by the August 1 trade deadline.
What do you plan on doing with Cy Young-caliber pitcher Marcus Stroman, whose been outspoken about staying in Chicago? First base has been a needy position for the Cubs this season.
Do you keep Cody Bellinger at first base, as Mike Tauchman has been really good in center field? How do you plan on using Trey Mancini? The veteran first baseman has struggled mightily in the field and was one of the key contributors to the Cubs’ Sunday loss against the Cardinals.
The key question, though, has already been answered. Ricketts sees this team competing, and that’s what matters most.
Now, it’s up to him and the rest of the staff to add game-changing players.