To quote the great Ron Burgundy: That escalated quickly.
Don't look now, but the Cubs are just a game out of first place in the National League Central standings and could take over first place sometime this weekend.
While the Cubs have been on their post All-Star break tear, winners of all six of their games since the Midsummer Classic, the first-place Milwaukee Brewers have been on a simultaneous skid, losers of their last five games.
Because of all that, the standings have tightened dramatically. What was a five and a half game difference between the Cubs and Brewers at the break is now just a one-game gap.
It goes up and down the standings, too, as the Pittsburgh Pirates — who completed a four-game sweep of the Brewers on Thursday afternoon — are just three games back. The St. Louis Cardinals, who start a weekend series with the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday, are just four and a half games back of the Brewers.
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Given how hot the Cubs are right now, a move into first place sometime in the next couple days wouldn't be surprising in the least.
The Cubs have scored a whopping 44 runs during their six-game win streak, an average of more than seven runs a game. That stretch has also seen 16 home runs off Cubs bats.
The Cardinals roll into Wrigley losers of back-to-back games and four of their last seven since the All-Star break. Meanwhile, the Brewers travel for a three-game weekend set against the Philadelphia Phillies, the team with the worst record in baseball, and the Pirates pay a visit to the Colorado Rockies, a 56-win team that scored 18 runs in a Wednesday win over the San Diego Padres.
If you were hoping for a fun race in the Central in the second half of the season, it seems your wish has come true. As for those fans waiting around for the Cubs to finally move into first place, where they haven't been since June 6, you might soon get your wish, too.