I suspect Maddon spoke to them a bit harshly. He probably told them they were playing to WIN and have some fun along the way. Not the other way around. Zobrist is proving he is not over the hill yet, Russell is suddenly recognizing the strike zone and swinging away at hittable pitches, Baez is the spark plug, Cubs better off without Bryant as a starter, the pitcher that game (Strop) the 6--8 game away has now pitched 6 scoreless inning; the whole team seems energized and now cannot be ruled out as a contender.
Admittedly, though, they have not been playing any contenders except Cleveland.
Maddon probably apologized for some of his errors. Anyway, I wish the team and fans well.