The Chicago Cubs will enter a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, September 16, with a 57-88 season record. Recently, the team has spoken about avoiding a 100-loss season, which can be avoided with only six more wins in 17 attempts. However, as a Cubs fan, I think there is more that the team's players can accomplish before the 2012 season comes to an end. Cubs fans will always focus on positives, so here are some things that could happen soon while we continue to "wait for next year."
1. Total team wins
The Cubs will likely finish ahead of the Houston Astros in the NL Central. There are other teams around the league, though, that the Cubs could reach down the stretch. With a few extra victories, the Cubs could possibly pass the Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins in total wins. It ultimately means very little, but finishing further away from "worst MLB team" status could help team confidence a little.
2. Chris Volstad's wins
Volstad has had two consecutive bad seasons, playing with the Marlins last year before coming to the Cubs in the Carlos Zambrano trade. Still, he has picked things up and earned three recent wins. With two more victories, Volstad could match his win total from last season and give himself some confidence going into 2013. Closing out the season on a high note could also help him land a spot in a starting rotation next year, either in Chicago or elsewhere.
3. Alfonso Soriano's offensive stats
Soriano has quietly had a great season. With six more RBIs, he would would reach a new career high of 105. Furthermore, with 29 home runs, he is one away from his sixth career 30-homer season and is four away from matching his highest total in Chicago.
4. Travis Wood's strikeouts
Wood has allowed 23 home runs this year, but he has also had some very good moments and shown great potential at times. He should be able to reach his first career 100-stirkeout season, needing only three more for the milestone. If we're lucky, hopefully this number will be doubled next season. I would love to see Wood step and be a top starter for the Cubs in the future.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.
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