The Chicago Cubs are 14-9 in July and they've now won four of their last six against the Pirates and Cardinals. The Pirates have played a week full of bad baseball after finishing up their sweep of the Miami Marlins eight days ago. With the trade deadline coming tomorrow and the Reds waiting on the other end of this series in Wrigley, I think that the "trap" potential for the Pirates in this series is absolutely through the roof. The Pirates need at least two wins in this series, and that's far from a foregone conclusion the way things have gone for both clubs lately.
The series kicks off tonight with Erik Bedard looking for some revenge for his 11-strikeout walk last week. He'll face journeyman Justin Germano, who just made his Cub debut last week after starting the year with the Red Sox. He is not very good. First pitch is at 8:05.
All the Pirates blogs and fans on Twitter keep saying, "Don't panic. Don't panic. Don't panic." Jmac has been atrocious since the All-Star break and after a couple good starts, Bedard's back to his old tricks. Maybe we shouldn't totally panic but I think it's okay to say there is now clear reason for serious concern.
Despite an OK record since the all-star break, it appears the pitching staff is wilting again this season.