- The Cubs are 8-0-1 over their last 9 series. In that time, the club’s run differential has increased a total of 76 runs from -22 to +55 which is good for 1st in the NL and 2nd in MLB behind the Tampa Rays.
- Another way to think about it: the +76 run differential in the last 26 games = on average, the Cubs are winning by 2.92 runs for over a month. That feels so good.
On the bright side, Darvish only gave up 1 run on 1 hit while striking out 7.
On the down side, he walked 6 and needed over 90 minutes to throw those 97 pitches
I said yesterday that Kyle Hendricks makes his teammates so much better because his starts have tempo and rhythm. Darvish today was the complete opposite and that’s typically the case every time he takes the mound.
So be it.
The other 4 starters can work a lineup in 2 hours flat so take the good with the bad. In this case, it’s the cost of laboring through every Yu start vs. the benefit of having a dialed-in Yu come October.
That’s worth it in my opinion because you’ll need his stuff to win a WS. No disrespect to the other guys. Just saying the Cubs will need 96+ and a plus-plus slider to get through an American League Champion lineup and Darvish is the only guy on the squad with that stuff.
– Speaking of pitching, Mike Montgomery threw 5 scoreless out of the pen.
Before you say he should be starting over Yu or anything stupid like that – just try to enjoy two things:
1. The Cubs have the depth to go to a guy like Monty
2. Everyone else in the bullpen gets a day off during the middle of a 10 game stretch.
If there’s one guy in the clubhouse that everyone loves right now, it’s Mike Montgomery.
- If there’s two guys, it’s Mike Montgomery and Kris Bryant
Over the last 2 weeks he’s slashing .275/.423/.775 good for a 165 OPS+ meaning he’s about 65% better than your average major leaguer over that time.
I only say that though to keep all you stat junkies happy. Personally I’m just fine using the eye test to see KB has his timing down. Rumor has it all he needed was a different bat handle?
That’s weird but at the same time KB is kind of a weird guy so no arguments here. Just keep the line moving Kris
- Anthony Rizzo also has 6 HR over the last 2 weeks so let’s talk about him for a quick second.
Rizzo has the unique ability to fly under the radar despite being the face of the franchise. Idk how he does it but I can’t imagine another first baseman taking the field for this Cubs team. It’s fair to say Javy can take the Cubs to the next level, but it’s also fair to say they’ll always be good as long as Rizzo is taking the field 150+ times a year.
All I ask is that the Cubs consult me when it comes time to building his statute. I’d focus heavily on the time he tried to fight the entire city of Cincinnati.
- Taylor Davis is stealing my heart by stealing pitches. Get a look at this:
Seems small, but that’s a huge difference for a guy like Darvish. Not so much the other 4 starters but definitely big with Darvish.
I spend a lot of time bitching about Willson Contreras behind the plate which sucks because he’s such an awesome hitter. But reality is he has a ways to go managing a pitching staff.
Fortunately, Lester/Hendricks/Q/Hamnels are the exact types of pitchers that can work around a limited catcher like Contreras. And unfortunately like I said, Darvish is not which is why I love Taylor Davish carving out a role as Yu’s personal catcher.
Maybe that’s a reach for a guy with 30 career MLB plate appearances (it is) but that won’t stop my from playing a gut feeling and penciling him in every 5th game with Yu.
Looking Ahead the Cubs have 3 more games left with Milwaukee in the 10-game homestand. I said at the beginning we’d really like 7-3 and thru the first 7 games the boys are 6-1. So that’s good news.
The bad news is there is no bad news. The Cubs are fucking smoking right now and I would hate to be standing in their way.
PS - Cubs play on Sunday night at 6:05pm for another Sunday Night Baseball extravaganza so plan accordingly.
PPS – Sunday Night Baseball stinks.