Joe Maddon joining the Chicago Cubs could become a huge coup for a team that has worked tireless to rebuild into a contender. Are they ready now? Not quite. There is no question the northsiders have something special cooking in terms of bats what with Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler already in place. That doesn’t even include Kris Bryant and Addison Russell who remain waiting in the wings. Suffice to say they have a large cache of hitters at their disposal. What they don’t have, and what they know they need to take that final step is pitching.
Madison Bumgarner Rescued San Francisco Giants
To understand the meaning of what it is to have a true ace on the pitching staff, one need only look at the San Francisco Giants. Winning their third championship in five seasons has turned them into a dynasty, but none of it would’ve been possible without star pitcher Madison Bumgarner. The 2014 World Series MVP was beyond dominant, allowed one run in 25 innings pitched, culminating in his scoreless relief appearance to close out the Kansas City Royals in Game 7. His presence is the singular reason a third championship was possible. Keep in mind the Royals scored 27 runs during the series including two blowout wins over the Giants in Game 2 (7-2) and Game 6 (10-0). They didn’t live in fear of the pitching staff, but they had know answer for Bumgarner.
That is what the Chicago Cubs need. Of course they need a closer and a bullpen and all those things but the next step in them becoming serious contenders is finding that ace they can throw into a Game 7 on two days of rest and know he’ll slam the door for a championship. The search begins soon.
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