The Cubs, having survived the early week of shenanigans and now in the midst of playing the crosstown “rival” White Sox, are nearly at the halfway point of the abbreviated 60-game season. Since I have a day job, I probably won’t have time to write anything during the week (busy busy), but of course I’m always following the score bug and watching the highlights as they pop up on Twitter and various outlets.
At 16-9, the Cubs boast the second-best record in the National League, and are the only team in the Central that has a record over .500 as the other teams suffer their own bouts of inconsistency. It is very good that the Cubs banked so many wins in the first quarter of the season, since they have to weather injuries to key players like Kris Bryant and Tyler Chatwood (!), while also figuring out their bullpen issues (but hey, Craig Kimbrel might be fixed!) and slumps from what seems like the entire lineup these days. The good news is that the Cubs keep loading the bases; the bad news is that they’re atrociously bad at clearing them afterwards, but the hope is that corrects itself and we start having more opportunities to bust out the Gashouse Gorillas gif.
As my current state of residence goes up in flames and the pandemic also continues unabated, I find myself appreciating the distraction of Cubs baseball, win or lose. Of course, I would much prefer that they win, which the Cubs have more often than not so far. The list of complaints is probably quite long, but I can distill my own down to a few:
- Better command and reduce poorly located pitches (mostly recently as Jon Lester got blasted in the opener against the White Sox).
- Take better advantage of scoring opportunities – the Cubs can obviously get on base, but their approach and results seem to change adversely when there are actual baserunners, which is both perplexing and annoying.
- All those strikeouts – yeah, I know we’re in this new era of swing and miss due to batters selling out for the long ball, but would it kill you to have a secondary swing to emphasize contact? Just get on base and hope the next guy does something, I dunno.
With just over a week before the trade deadline, I suppose we might see the Cubs try to get a lefty reliever and a bat that can do something against lefty pitching (and hopefully they don’t suck), but I wouldn’t actually be too surprised if the roster stays put. Who knows how the Ricketts finances are, but it’s also kind of funny to see how as the economy collapses, the billionaires are continuing to generate wealth…but I digress.
Going to enjoy the rest of the games, until we meet again.