Anno wrote about the standings Saturday morning before heading to the ballpark to see yet another victory. The winning streak stopped at six as a combination of poor luck and bad umpiring didn’t allow the Chicago Cubs to score at all on Sunday, although you wouldn’t know that Joe Maddon or the players were devastated…
Joe pretty much said it all. Good defense all-around, excellent pitching from Jake Arrieta, and I don’t think Joe laid into the plate umpire (or any umpire for that matter) too much, just focusing on the positives and answering questions candidly as he always does. If you check the box score, you’ll see all the pitches seen by Cubs hitters and the walks they drew against A.J. Burnett, who is a good pitcher but has his issues. I felt like all the balls in play against Burnett were stung, and he was aided, in my opinion, but a slightly liberally strike zone but whatcha gonna do. Six out of seven ain’t bad, and now the Cubs have an off day to reset their bullpen, make some roster moves, and get some fluids into Kris Bryant. No big deal at all, plus Tuesday night’s game against the San Diego Padres is way late at night (thankfully after the Flash season finale, yay) so they’ll have a few extra hours to recuperate.
There will be time for roster speculation later, but I just want to leave you with this: the Cubs are currently 21-16. They are virtually tied for the National League Wild Card lead, and if the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets do their thing against the St. Louis Cardinals, might gain some ground in the Central without having played a game yet. Check this with the last Cubs playoff team, and they’re just a game behind that pace through 37 games. 21-16 right now, in an overall struggling National League, is pretty darn good especially if you take into consideration the bullpen struggles, youth movement, injuries, and whatever else people want to be negative about. Maybe it’s just 37 out of 162 (125 left to play for those counting), and there’s no guarantee that the “pace” will continue towards 92+ wins. But again, it’s pretty darned good given all the struggles.
So yeah, it could be better. It might have been worse. As Jake Arrieta showed today, they might get hit hard every now and then, but: