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Cubs News

The Cubs’ mindset entering the final series of 2023 season

8 months agoTony Andracki

The Cubs knew exactly what was at stake as the arrived in Milwaukee with 3 games left on the 2023 regular season slate.

Simply put, the team needed wins. As many as possible, but ideally all 3 games against the division-leading Brewers.

As such, the Cubs approached the series with a clear playoff mentality.

David Ross doesn’t like calling full team meetings but he does pop into the meetings with the Cubs hitting and pitching groups before series starts.

“We’ve been talking pretty regularly about some things,” Ross said as he chatted with Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Jim Deshaies during Friday’s broadcast. “Today was just more about first playoff series, if we could change our mindset to, OK, here’s our playoff series, attention to detail, let’s enjoy this.

“Play with a little bit of patience but a focus. I think we’ve been pressing a little bit. Take what the game gives us. Not do too much but heighten the focus to the little details.

“And enjoy it. Have some fun. This is what we signed up for in Spring Training, to be coming down the stretch playing playoff type baseball. This is it right here.”

The Cubs began play Friday trailing the Miami Marlins by a half-game for the final NL Wild Card spot. The Marlins hold the tiebreaker between the two teams.

Miami was up by a run in the 9th inning on the Mets Thursday night before the game was suspended due to rain. If the game ends up mattering, the Marlins and Mets will resume the contest Monday, Oct. 2.

So essentially, the Cubs need to finish 2 games better than the Marlins over the weekend if they’re going to secure the final playoff spot in the NL.

The Cubs were as many as 10 games below .500 in early June but battled back into playoff contention and put Jed Hoyer’s front office in a position buy at the trade deadline.

Now they have 3 games remaining to punch a ticket to the postseason.

“These guys fought hard for a long time to get where we’re at right now, backs against the wall at the trade deadline and different moments of the season,” Ross said. “Having to produce for a really long time – every game’s mattered for us for a really, really long time and fighting.

“We wouldn’t change anything in this moment right now. It comes down to playing meaningful baseball late. We haven’t played our best baseball as of late but we still got a chance to get to the postseason.”

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