Cubs going for back-to-back winning series
June, 19, 2011
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com
The Chicago Cubs have played their best baseball of the season this last week at Wrigley Field. However, the question remains as to whether they can sustain this level of play beyond the seven-game homestand.
The New York Yankees are always a measuring stick for any struggling team.
“The challenge of winning this series and winning it against a very good team would mean a lot,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said before Sunday night’s series finale against the Yankees. “But I would rather stay with the process. Let’s just play good baseball (all the time). Let’s improve on the things we need to improve on and let the wins take care of themselves.”
The Cubs have the opportunity Sunday to win back-to-back series for the first time this season. Quade emphasized how important it is for the team to get that accomplished.
“You may not go home and think about it very long,” Quade said. “But inherently, you want to see how you stack up. When you are measuring yourselves against teams that are the best, that’s the time to take a look at where you’re really at.”
The Cubs were looked at as a hopeless bunch a week ago, coming off of a 2-8 road trip to St. Louis, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. Since then, they are 4-2 against the Brewers and Yankees.
Although the Cubs are enthused about their recent short streak of success, they know they have a lot of work to do.
“Yes, we have played better this week,” Cubs reliever Jeff Samardzija said. “But we need to compete the same way against every team we play. We’ve competed well against some of the better teams, but we need to focus on that kind of intensity for all 162.”
The Cubs haven’t won back-to-back series since Sept. 27-Oct. 3 2010, when they beat the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros to close out the season.