"Roller Coaster" Cubs Must Solve Road Woes

The Cubs have one of the best home records in all of baseball; their road record, however, could cost them the NL Central

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
August 21, 2019 - 8:59 am
Joe Maddon Cubs

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The Chicago Cubs (67-58) have had one of the most confounding seasons in all of baseball this year. They are 42-19 at home yet 25-39 on the road.

Why the disparity? Why the roller coaster?

“Roller coaster is the operative phrase for them,” Chicago Tribune Cubs reporter Mark Gonzalez said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They’re 42-19 (at home) – one of the best records at home in all of baseball. But the road has been very puzzling, especially for a team that has been through its share of wars and playoff races. They’ve really struggled on the road. They’ve won three consecutive games, but they’ve got to keep it going. They have yet to prove they can win the road with any semblance of consistency.”

But why have the Cubs struggled so much away from Wrigley Field?

“I think they play well enough to lose when they’ve been on the road,” Gonzalez said. “There’s alway been two components to their game. They play well, but the other component falls short. We saw that the last trip where they lost three games in the last inning – walk-off losses that were devastating. The bullpen, you could pinpoint it on them. But really they had a chance to add more runs and didn’t do so – and it bit them very hard.”

The Cubs took two of three from the Pirates in Pittsburgh this past weekend. It was their first road series win against an NL Central foe all season.

“It’s been really helter-skelter against the division,” Gonzalez said. “They’ve really struggled against the Cardinals and Brewers on the road. Yet when they come to Wrigley Field, they’ve taken care of business.”

The Cubs trail the Cardinals (67-57) by a half game in the NL Central. Chicago ends the season with three games in Pittsburgh and three in St. Louis.

“Until they take care of business (on the road),” Gonzalez said, “I’m not totally buying in that this team can win the division outright.”

Click below to listen to Gonzalez’s interview in its entirety.