A tough stretch is coming up for the Cubs and I am not talking about that of the seventh inning variety (as depicted below…a taste of my beautiful singing chops. You’re welcome).

No, I’m talking about something different altogether. Grab a sandwich, your iPod, a PSP, a road map, charge your cell phone and grab your road jersey. It is time for a ROAD TRIP!

When you are swept by the Astros and go 3-6 on a homestand that involves only playing the Mets, Pirates and Astros, you have to be disappointed. Thing is, it’s tough to be surprised due to all of the injuries the team has had to endure lately. The simple fact that our DL could defeat most teams on any given day (you get what I’m saying) says a lot about the talent that we’ve had taken from us so far this year. It’s tough for Quade to fully execute his strategy when he constantly must substitute out proven talent for wide-eyed youngsters from the farm system.

Having Wells and Cashner go down was one thing. You could hope the offense would pick them up. Then however, we started losing position players and then it got really tough. As a result, we are currently 8 games out in the Central chasing everyone  but the Astros (who are only two games behind us, mind you).

This upcoming week presents great power for the Cubs. Tomorrow they kick off a road trip that has them playing two division foes plus a powerhouse in the National League in the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets beat the Pirates today after being down by seven runs, so we know anything is possible. I’d like to see that go in the Cubs’ favor in this upcoming 10 game trip through St. Louis, Cincinnati and Philly.

Both the Cardinals series and the Cincy series are three gamers.

Three opportunities where the power is in the Cubs hands to take games away from the lead in the standings. The power to make up ground in the Central with every game they play. Division games present that opportunity. However, as Spider Man taught us, with great power comes great responsibility. (That and being bitten by a radioactive spider has it’s benefits).

If we don’t win these games, we will set ourselves up for a hole that could prove to deep to recover from. The first six games of this series are the ones that truly matter given the opportunity they present. I hope we win them, or at least a majority of them. It’d be a horrible situation to walk away from two situations that caused us to lose major ground in our own division, simply to be rewarded by a four game series with the very tough Phillies.

Garza is due back on the road trip so that’s good news. Soto is back already. I wouldn’t count on much more than that except maybe Ramirez making an appearance, stitches and all. Cashner was moved to the 60-day DL, Byrd is still about six to eight weeks or more away, Soriano won’t be ready to go in any of these games and I’m not sure when Baker gets back. We are a beaten team but I like to think we are a resilient team. The fight doesn’t stop with us and Quade needs to make sure that’s the case through the entire road trip.

When I am at Wrigley in a few weeks, I want us to be no worse off than we are now. Ideally, I’d like us to be a couple games better.

If you are going to be at Wrigley for the make up game against the Rockies or the double header against the Giants, let me know because I will be there too! I can’t wait. Looking forward to catching more games at Wrigley and seeing us do well against two NL West powerhouses. A day/night double-header at Wrigley? What a perfect way to spend a day.

Last time I was there, the Monday game was a close one as Sori pulled us within one run with a bomb in the ninth and then unfortunately the Tuesday was rained out. The Rockies game is the make up game though so I’ll get to see that one and then the double header…will make for a ton of ballpark food, 7th-inning stretching and a ton of Cubs baseball. Awesome.

Here are some photos of the last couple games I saw at Wrigley. Various random shots, hope you enjoy. And if you are at Wrigley June 27 or June 28, let me know! Gotta love a road trip…prove me right Cubs and let’s have a great week and a half. It’s going to be tough, but it certainly won’t be boring! Cardinals, Reds, Phillies. It starts tomorrow in St. Louis. Check out the slideshow and Go Cubs Go!

Castro on Wrigley


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