With only nine games remaining on the Cubs' schedule, manager David Ross is showing urgency in the National League playoff race.
Following Chicago’s 8–6 loss to the Pirates Thursday night, Ross expressed frustration over losing a late-season series to an under-.500 team (72–81) that trails the Cubs by seven games in the standings.
“That’s not a good team that just took two out of three from us,” Ross said to reporters, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “Or not our caliber of team, I believe. We have to turn it around. It’s on me. It’s on the guys in the room.”
David Ross, postgame after the Cubs 8-6 loss to the Pirates: “That’s not a good team that just took 2 out of 3 from us. Or not our caliber of team I believe. We have to turn it around. Its on me. Its on the guys in the room."— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) September 22, 2023
“There’s sh-- all over the place that we can point to,” Ross added. “It’s time to put up wins. No excuses.”
Going into Friday’s slate of MLB play, the Cubs trail the Brewers by eight games in the NL Central. But they’re tied with the Marlins for the NL’s third wild-card playoff spot, and the Reds are only a 1/2 game behind.
Perhaps catching Milwaukee for the division lead is asking too much (though the Cubs and Brewers finish the season with a three-game series). But it’ll be difficult for Chicago to beat out Miami and hold off the Reds (along with the Giants and Padres) without defeating the teams they should beat.
With due respect to the Pirates, that’s the message Ross is trying to send to his players. There’s not much time left for the Cubs to reflect their manager’s urgency on the field.