NEW YORK — The most important statistic for the Cubs on Thursday is zero – the number of innings they’ll be on the field.
It’s one that’s a relief for the club as they continue to chase a National League playoff berth over the next month and a half.
Thursday is the Cubs’ first day off since July 24 as they played 16-straight games without a break, with the last being a 4-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday. It sent them to a series loss in New York, but all in all, the busy stretch worked out well for the Cubs.
David Ross’ team went 11-5 in their last 16 games, which started before the Major League Baseball trade deadline. It convinced management to decide to add to the current club instead of trading for the future, the first time the team has done so since 2019.
During the stretch, the Cubs were able to pick up four full games in the NL Central division race, going from 6 1/2 games back of first to 2 1/2 back as of Thursday afternoon. In the Wild Card race, the Cubs are a half-game behind the Marlins for the third and final spot.
Perhaps there’s some disappointment at the end of the stretch for the team as they dropped a series to a Mets team that did a massive sell-off at the trade deadline. That included Wednesday’s contest, when Ian Happ struck out with the bases loaded, sealing a one-run loss.
After the 16-straight games, the Cubs get a few off days over the next week, including Thursday before the start of a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto. After a day off Monday, the Cubs host the White Sox for a two-game City Series starting Tuesday, then host the Royals after another day off Thursday.