August belongs to the Cubs once again

CHICAGO - The scene at 1060 W. Addison late Wednesday night was a perfect wrap to a month that belonged to the team that called this venue home.

With a sellout crowd buzzing and the temperatures cooling at Wrigley Field, the Cubs delivered a performance which many are used to seeing over the past 31 days. Kris Bryant hit a homer, Jason Hammel had a solid start, Addison Russell made a ridiculous catch and Aroldis Chapman finished off the ninth inning with a save.

It was the 22nd time the Cubs have celebrated a victory in the month of August and it comes with some impressive statistics.

Perhaps the best is that Joe Maddon's team increased their lead a full seven games during the month in the division. Entering their first game of the month against the Marlins, the Cubs were eight games in front of the Cardinals for first place.

Last night's victory made that a 15-game gap and lowered the team's Magic Number to 16.

More staggering is the team's incredible record at home during the month - 14-2. Only the Cardinals were able to score a pair of victories at Wrigley Field as the Cubs won their first seven and final seven home games of the month.

Among those 14 victories were three walk-off triumphs, including Monday's 13-inning victory over the Pirates on a hit by Miguel Montero.

A number of games during the month were not close enough to have any late drama. Nine of the wins came by four-or-more runs with the biggest victory coming by 11 against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on August 12th. For the entire month the Cubs outscored their opponents 143-85.

This is the first time the Cubs have won 22 games in a month since September of 1945 - the last time the team clinched a National League Pennant. If they can repeat that effort in September they would finish with 107 wins - tied for second-most in franchise history.

The last time they won that many games was 1907 - the year of their first World Series championship. Good omen? For the moment it's just another great August on the North Side.