Hello again, everybody! It is nice to be back, and it is even nicer to be writing about the Cubs sweeping a four-game series. And this was not a normal four-gamer; this was against the Mighty Mets who rode into town with an impressive 20-11 record.
Well, thanks to the Cubbies you can add four to the loss column for the Mets. On the other hand, the Cubs now stroll into the weekend with a 19-15 record good for second place and a rejuvenated clubhouse. Losing four of six to the Brewers was rough, but this sweep goes a long way in getting the team back on track.
So, with all of that said, let’s get down to the brass tacks on this fine Friday and go rambling …
• Anthony Rizzo is a one-man wrecking crew right now. It is extremely fun to watch. He is just a pure hitter
• Bryant’s homer overshadowed Rizzo’s homer Monday night, but The Riz’s was awesome also. As Len and JD discussed, his swing is just pretty. It is beautiful.
• Also, every time you read “Len and JD,” please know I originally typed, “Len and Bob.” I really miss BB, but I will say that while I don’t think JD will ever get to the level of Brenly, he is starting to grow on me.
• For example, and although I am sure it was pre-determined and planned, JD had a great line the other night about the Harvey/Soler matchup: “It is an epic battle of good and evil – the masked man and the dark knight!”
• Getting back to the sweep, the Cubs beat some pretty good pitchers. As we all have heard, the Mets have done a lot of rebuilding of their own, but they went with pitchers, whereas the Cubs went with position players. The Cubs ran through a veritable gauntlet from the mound and came out 4-0. Not too shabby, my friends.
• As hot as Castro gets, he can sure get cold as well. Very cold.
• Speaking of temperatures, I read where Soler is batting something like .150 below 50 degrees, and .305 above 50 degrees. Please don’t hold me to those exact numbers, but it is something like that. This is neither surprising nor troubling.
• It also bodes well for the rest of the season. Let’s just hope the next seven Octobers are unseasonably warm. (NO, this is not a discussion about climate change. Move on, please.)
• This courtesy of Best Pal Stats, Inc.: The Cubs are fourth best in walks allowed (pitching) and fifth most in walks drawn (batting).
• Unfortunately, the Cubs are also the best, or worst, in baseball at striking out. As of writing this, they were number one in most strikeouts in baseball by 19 K’s.
• Another area that is bad, but where much improvement can be expected through experience and maturity, is fielding and defense. The Cubs are tied for 25th in errors and ranked 26th in fielding percentage. Look for that to improve with Russell’s enhanced knowledge of second base and playing with Castro.
• And we will throw another stat out there; the Cubs rank third in stolen bases. THE CUBS. THIRD. STOLEN BASES. Whoa.
• A lot has been made, and rightfully so, of Bryant’s hustle and “respecting 90,” but the whole team is in on it as the Cubs have the fourth fewest GIDPs. (Ground into double play) That is solid, kids. Very solid.
• The Cubs held Wada back two days to line him up with Hendricks and Wood. As tough as it is to imagine cutting bait on some $22 million, that is where the Cubs find themselves. Edwin Jackson … it’s been, well, it sure has been.
• And to end the run on stats, the Cubs are tied for 13th in home runs. My inclination is to say that this number should only improve over the course of the season.
• After another bad outing, I think Wood might find himself in the pen for some time while Wada gets a chance to see what he can do. Just a hunch, but I see Wada getting a start in the next week or two.
• I know I am the 3,792,412th person to say this, but it sure is a lot of fun to watch Joe Maddon manage a baseball game. I wish my dad were alive to see it because he would so very much enjoy it as well.
• I am not sure I think carrying three catchers is a good idea. Montero needs to be out there four out of every five games. We are paying him for his abilities on both sides of the plate. It’s time to cut bait on Castillo, well depending on what happens with David Ross’ injury.
• Do you guys remember that horrible trade the Cubs made last summer where we gave up Samardzija and Hammel? We also got Billy McKinney in that trade, and it is simply not fair what he is doing the minor leagues right now, and he just got promoted to the Smokies. Speaking of the Smokies, if you don’t follow them on Twitter, you should. I mean, you really should.
• Rizzo has seven homers, 20 RBI, 20 walks, 17 strikeouts, and a .470 OBP. He is getting on base almost ONE-HALF of the times he comes to the plate. That is just sick.
Well, that is all I have for you on this Friday. Let’s hope our Cubbies keep it up and we are talking about seven in a row on Sunday night.
Here is a to a safe, enjoyable and relaxing weekend to all …
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!