Maybe it’s time the Cubs find their way

SHARE Maybe it’s time the Cubs find their way

You never want to look too far ahead in the playoffs, but what the heck.

If the Cubs have serious hopes this year for making it YOU KNOW WHERE, then at some point they’ll have to get past the Cardinals.

And the Cardinals are not a team, they’re a nuclear-driven octopus that grows a new arm every time one gets hacked off.

Right now the Cardinals have the best record in baseball, 99-58. This is nothing special, since they’ve had 95 or more wins six times since 2000.

They win and win while devouring the plankton and shellfish in the NL Central, including the Cubs, and never are sated.

Experts talk about “the Cardinal Way,’’ as if the franchise’s success is something like a Papal dogma or intestinal cleansing plan. Whatever it is, it’s astounding.

Because no matter how many times the beast is gouged, whacked, stabbed, or seemingly tamed, it roars back to life.

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa leaves and it makes no difference. Genius pitching coach Dave Duncan leaves, no difference. Same with slugger Albert Pujols and 2011 World Series hero David Freese. General managers leave, the owner changes—and stumps regrow into thrashing tentacles.

This year?

Another division first place—the Cards eighth since 2000—and more injuries than a subway crash.

Star catcher Yadier Molina (and some experts say great catching is at the heart of the Cardinal Way) is injured. So is 14-game winning pitcher Carlos Martinez. Big hitter Matt Holliday missed a long stretch with a quad injury.

Star pitcher Adam Wainwright and first baseman Matt Adams are recovering from injuries. Outfielder Randal Grichuk is on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow strain.

And Monday night in a game against the Pirates young Cardinals left fielder Stephen Piscotty was knocked cold and carted off the field after a violent and terrifying collision with center fielder Peter Bourjos.

Piscotty, a rising star, might be out for some time. But if he is, no big deal. The Cardinals will mutate and grow.

Yet, through this all, there just might be an opening for the Cubs. Yes, the Pirates are in the way for that Wild Card game.

But get past them and the Cubs could find the Cardinal beast finally wounded even beyond its ability to swiftly regenerate.

There is always luck involved in winning a championship. And luck swings both ways.

Who knows? Bad luck for the Cardinals this year could be the best luck for the Cubs.

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