The Cubs Are Not Panicking

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With seven losses in eight games, you might think that things would be getting fairly uneasy in the Cubs' clubhouse. Sure, they've already won more games this year than last year and are something like a 99% chance to make the playoffs at this point, but with concerns over Rich Harden and Carlos Zambrano's coming with a slew of losses, it seems like the time would be ripe for even the players to be a bit worried. If you believe the Cubs, they aren't worried even a little bit:

''You still can't panic,'' Lee said after closer Kerry Wood's control problems and shortstop Ronny Cedeno's misplay hung a 4-3 loss on the Cubs in the rubber game of the three-game series.

''We're still in good shape,'' Lee said. ''We just need to be better. We're a better team than this. You don't want to ever play under your talent level, and that's what we're doing right now. We're in a funk. We're in a skid. We've just got to fight our way out of it.''

That is, of course, the exact right attitude to take with this kind of thing, even if it throws the fans into a panic. Out of a million simulations by Baseball Prospectus, the Cubs make the playoffs more than 990,000 times. With their four game lead over the Brewers a week into September, they're still the odds on favorites to win the NL Central. At this point, their collapse would be so epic it would almost be admirable. All they have to do to avoid it is win a couple games. They can do that ... right?

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