Theo Epstein isn't mincing words when it comes to the performance of the Chicago Cubs this season.
The club's president of baseball operations doesn't believe the team has lived up to expectations. By failing to do so, Chicago has opened the door for the division-rival Milwaukee Brewers in a wide-open NL wild-card race.
"We were just caught from behind in the wild-card standings by a team that our run differential is over 100 runs better than," Epstein said Thursday, according to 670 The Score's Mully & Haugh Show. "But they’re playing better ball - the Brewers, they just beat us five out of seven (recently) in huge games. We put them back in the race. It’s the inability to show up and play winning baseball.
"We’re playing bad baseball - second-most errors in the league, the most outs on the bases in the league. Those things chip away at your margin for error."
Epstein admits the on-field and off-field performance issues plaguing the team have been going on for some time.
"If you go back 12, 13 months, it’s just been marked by underachievement and uninspired play," he said. "And that applies to us in the front office, too. Everyone is in this together. It’s just been uninspired and unacceptable. This is clearly our chance to get it right. Like I said, we can’t take that lightly."
The Cubs (78-68) enter Friday's action tied with the Brewers (78-68) for the second wild-card spot in the Senior Circuit. However, Milwaukee recently lost Christian Yelich, who was in contention for a second straight NL MVP Award, to a season-ending knee injury.
Chicago owns the second-highest payroll ($218,257,150) in all of baseball, behind only the Boston Red Sox.