No, Cubs fans, the recent loss of Anthony Rizzo does not excuse you from this.
We're also aware of Javy Baez's absence too, but that doesn't hold much merit given the production the team has gotten from those who are filling in, most notably Ben Zobrist and Nico Hoerner.
If the Cubs manage to botch their chances during the stretch run and lose out on a playoff spot to the Milwaukee Brewers, sans-Yelich, the organization has to make some sweeping changes with absolutely no limitations in terms of whose job is in jeopardy.
Chicago has had chance after chance to bury the Brewers and they've been unable to. And if Cubs fans want to cry injuries, the last fanbase they can talk about that with is Milwaukee's. They're without NL MVP hopeful Christian Yelich, and their starting rotation has been decimated for a good portion of the MLB season, yet they've been able to stay afloat and in the race.
As for the Cubs, they've dealt with minimal adversity on that front. You could make a case for Brandon Morrow, but he hasn't stepped foot on a mound since July 15 of LAST YEAR. Craig Kimbrel's injury issues are troublesome for sure, but he's appeared in just 21 games and has been largely terrible.
Baez and Rizzo, as stated earlier, are huge losses, but the team has gotten a ridiculous shot in the arm from rookie Nico Hoerner, who is batting .351/.400/.568 with nine runs scored, two home runs and 11 RBI in nine games. Additionally, Ben Zobrist, who missed nearly four months as he endured a divorce, has returned to hit .378/.452/.514 in 12 games this month.
There's simply no excuse. Kyle Schwarber is having a career year, Kris Bryant is still Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras has arguably been the best hitting catcher in baseball, Jason Heyward is having a resurgent offensive season, and this starting rotation consists of Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Cole Hamels and Jose Quintana.
Who's to blame here? It's hard to put a finger on it, but most would start with Joe Maddon, given the fact he seems to be on the hot seat since he's yet to receive a contract extension. It'd be hard to blame the front office, given all the moves that have been made to put this team in the best position to win.
Perhaps this is just the beginning of another Chicago curse? Either way, something needs to be done if the Cubbies are sitting at home come October.