But when they dropped a two-game series to first-place St. Louis at Wrigley Field to fall 10 games behind the Cardinals -- with no more head-to-head games against them -- they realize it's going to be tough.
"We're not conceding anything," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
Yet, Baker is also bracing for the possibility of not catching the Cardinals. And a wild card bid is a possibility.
"Right now, we're looking at the division but I've got my eye on getting to the dance any kind of way we can get there," Baker said. "You don't want to think this at this point but we're still in a great position even if we get to the playoffs as a wild card. We're still in great position. Don't forget, it's the top four teams."
The past two World Series champions -- Anaheim and Florida -- were wild card teams, and Baker took San Francisco to the 2002 World Series as a wild card club.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry pointed out that there are no guarantees for a wild card, either.
"I don't think you have to worry about either one," Hendry said. "You just have to try to win as many games as you can. You can't worry about the Cardinals. They've played by far the best baseball in the big leagues. They deserve to be where they're at. You can't assume they're going to stumble drastically. And you can't assume you're going to win 26 out of 30.
"But it's possible to get hot and get a streak going. You don't give up, but you don't worry about anything but winning as many as you can."
Worries at Ease for Baker, Hendry
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