Hello again, everybody. I do not mean to shock your systems with a Thursday Ramblings, but my travel schedule combined with an off day for the Cubs led to a perfect scenario where we can ramble, rumble and ramble some more on a thoroughly thirsty Thursday for many thirty-somethings … and hopefully a thoroughly enjoyable Thursday for all.
And with that said, let’s get down to the brass tacks and go rambling right now …
• Kyle Schwarber, son, you are nothing short of ridiculous. Multiple four-hit games, multiple-three hit games, two home runs to win a game. Just unreal in so many ways.
• And to think, many panned this draft selection at the time. Where are you all now?
• Hey, Ian Happ, no pressure, buddy. None at all. I just expect to see you next July belting doubles, triples and homers like its no big deal.
• Seriously, the Schwarbs is pretty ridic right now. Sorry, a few of my female co-workers are teaching me a new language. Apparently, to save time, you just shorten every single word, but keep talking as fast as possible. I mean, it all makes sense to me.
• I mean, it’s like totes defs ridic and adorbs. No need to be vulnies. This is great advice for the Cubs. They should continue to be totally and definitely ridiculous (in a good way) without feeling vulnerable to the competition.
• On Tuesday night, JD used the line, “that was some knee-high Cholula.” I take that as some “knee-high hot sauce,” or “knee-high heat.” Either way, I love it. That is just a great line.
• And I will say it now … after watching a good amount of Cubs games the past three months, JD is really growing on me, as well as a broadcaster. I find myself enjoying his color commentary more and more each week. What are your thoughts on JD? Share them below.
• After the walloping in game one on Wednesday, it was great to see the Cubs fight back from a five-run deficit and win game two. As Len said, it might be only one game in July, but it was needed. It means a series split and a winning road trip. And from what I understand, Joe Maddon managed just an incredible night game in the twin billing.
• And now, as the Cubs return to Wrigley, they must hope it lives up to its nickname as the Friendly Confines because they will be there a lot. Like a whole heck of a lot.
• The Cubs will play 19 of their next 29 games at Wrigley Field. While those are my two favorite numbers, for many reasons, the Cubs better hope they are good to them as well. Winning at home is crucial in baseball, and if you have a chance to be home that often, you better get in a groove.
• This is especially true given that the lion share of these 19 home games will come during what is commonly referred to as August, or the dog days of summer. This is the time when teams stay in it or fall far from it.
• The Cubs are five games over .500 at home, and this stretch will be a great way for them to improve that stat, improve their standings, and prepare them for September.
• It is interesting … one can look at Billy Hamilton’s stats. And then can watch Billy Hamilton play against the Cubs. One who has seen the stats must always scratch his or her head. How does the player I am currently watching dominate have such bad stats?
• And here is why: Billy Hamilton is nearing “Cub-Killer” status. Overall, he carries a .241 average and .286 OBP in his career. Against the Cubs, those numbers jump dramatically to a .300 average and a .369 OBP. And considering a walk or a single are the same thing as a triple in Billy-Hamilton land, these are troubling stats for the Cubs.
• That stat, and the next few are courtesy of Best Pal Stats, Inc.: The Cubs are 25th in runners left on base and 26th in runners left in scoring position. Normally, these numbers would not be found on a playoff baseball team. These numbers need to improve quite dramatically for September to be important.
• The good news with these stats is that luck and timely hitting are key factors, and while these numbers need to rise, the Cardinals are not that far off in the same categories while carrying the best record in baseball.
• But, when it comes to luck, these are the Cubs … so it cannot be left to chance. And NO, I am not talking about curses or jinxes or anything. I am just saying, with this team, historically, if something can go bad, it quite often does.
• I don’t know if Castro needs a day off, or a week off, but he needs something. His batting average is plummeting, as is his confidence. Also, Rizzo has seen his average drop to .285, but he is still getting on base at a .400 clip, and that is impressive. Here is to offensive improvements for all.
• Finally, and quietly, Chris Coghlin and Jonathan Herrera have been playing quite nicely as of late, and if they can continue, it will help greatly while we wait patiently for the other bats to come around, and hopefully come around quickly.
That is all I have for your fine followers of the CCO on this Thursday. I hope all is well with all, and I certainly hope the Cubs sweep the Sandberg-less Phillies right out of Wrigley and get to more than 10 games over .500. That would be a nice baseball weekend right there now wouldn’t it?
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!