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Cubs in Second in NL Central, Winning the Close Games

The Chicago Cubs are young and full of talent but give them an inch and they might take only a foot. The Cubs are winning close games in unexpected fashion.

The bullpen is up and down, the defense has seen better days, but the Cubs have started to produce wins in close games on a consistent basis. The Cubs won 14 games during May of which 10 were by just a single run.

On Sunday, the Cubs won 2-1 over Kansas City in 11 innings, which was another example of how they are digging deep for a win. On Sunday, the Chicago bullpen was on the field for 5 1/3 innings of which all were scoreless.

Travis Wood, the Cubs’ first reliever did give up a run, but it had been an inherited runner who scored. After he was taken out, without getting an out, six relievers for the Cubs combined to hold the Royals at bay.

Joe Maddon the Cubs manager said it was all about an attitude of not giving up and if something negative happens, the team will fix it.

Chicago started the day Sunday with an ERA of 4.08 from its relievers, which is No. 10 in the National League and with a batting average against of .247, which is No. 11 in the league.

Over the last three innings of play on Sunday, the Cubs relievers gave up just one hit.

Statistically the Cubs should not be that good in tight games. Prior to May, the Cubs were 0-6 in games determined by one run, but their 10 wins in May in one-runs games says a lot about their resiliency. Five of Chicago’s last eight games were decided by a single run.

An inconsistent team will not be able to be so consistent in one run games so that means the Cubs are more consistent their the stats show. Maddon’s Cubs are now 26-22 and split two games with Kansas City a team that played in the World Series last year and was in the AL Central first place spot when the weekend series began.

Chicago heads out on a road trip that starts in Miami and will have the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers along the way.

An early June road swing will not likely be too defining of a moment but playing strong against strong teams could be a sign of what is to come down the road.

Maddon insists the only way to play better is play against the best and this trip will give him a good idea where the team is, as they will face the Tigers and Nationals.

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