Remember Jurassic Park? The book, actually, not the movie. Within the book (which was better than the movie, which was already very good, in my opinion), the character of Ian Malcolm is a mathematician who specializes in chaos theory. He models real-world systems using a tool called fractals, which take a simple shape and amplifies it into an increasingly complex mega-fractal. And since we are a baseball blog (and a Cubs blog, mind you), we are pretty familiar with chaos.
The reason I bring up the fractals is because every moment in the game, and every game in the season, is like a fractal in the grand scheme of this chaotic system known as baseball. Baseball is primarily a game that features lots of failure, and also a lot of adjustments and countermeasures to reduce the probability of failure. So it was with the early part of the game, where it looked like the bats would just keep flailing away at stupid junk from usually not-good starter Derek Holland, and another potentially wasted quality start from Kyle Hendricks.
I think it has to do with the weird two-game sets that are necessitated by season-long interleague, but the two-game sweep by the Cleveland Indians probably didn’t do Cubs fans much good, especially when bookended by off days that prolonged the angst of losing baseball. We do know that the Cubs have been inconsistent, and the front office knows this as well. We also know that baseball is chaos, and that at some point these things tend to work themselves out, so a little trust is probably warranted.
Theo said this group of #Cubs has earned trust. It's almost the same speech he gave to the media on May 16, 2017 about the slow start.
— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) May 25, 2018
While we had to weather the frustrations from (nice, actually) plays like this:
— MLB (@MLB) May 25, 2018
…for the most part, up until the offense finally dug into the Giants’ bullpen and put the game away, the starting pitching by Kyle Hendricks and the defense behind him did their job, which is something that the Cubs really needed. When the bats finally woke up, it was also after some grinding plate appearances to put men on base, good baserunning (except for whatever the hell that first-inning send was), and the hits weren’t to the moon, but rather solid line drives and hard hit grounders to get men over and home.
In the end, this may be more indicative of what the 2018 Cubs will be than what they showed in those offensively barren losses, playing into the idea of the Ian Malcolm fractals. As the players get more reps and experience, the overall season will take shape and perhaps we will see the Cubs deep into the playoffs again. For today, at least a win was recorded, and now we can hope that every other MLB team suffers catastrophic losses as fans do.
At least we got a new gif:
Excessive celebration. pic.twitter.com/7r1pzGwe0W
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 25, 2018
Plus, although the Cubs had to use their closer, at least he didn’t waste any time or pitches:
Here’s to a new winning streak, and actual consistency.