Last night, the Chicago Cubs posted a devastating victory over the Cincinnati Reds 8-1. just how devastating was it? It was so devastating that the Chicago Cubs are first over all in baseball.
Big deal, you might say. It’s only nine games into the season. It’s the Cubs, they might screw it up.
Well, hold on a second. Sure, things could fall apart. They could be peaking and it could be all downhill from here. but—
“I like the way we’re playing baseball. I think we’re ready to play baseball,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “The things you talk about in camp or in meetings, our guys are doing it. That’s as well as I can explain it. Following game plans, having great at-bats, playing catch on defense, being in the right spot — that’s why we’ve won so many games.”
The other reason is chemistry. These ballplayers genuinely like each other. We laughed when a mime walked onto the practice field. We sighed when Anthony Rizzo cuddled with cute little bears and we sang along with them at Karaoke (Ok, maybe you did).
Now we get it.
We know Kris Bryant is going to have a monster year and judging from last night’s solo shot in the second, Wrigley Field will be very kind to Bryant this season.
The Cubs are delivering the goods. They are better than we expected. Be warned though that they’ve only played the Diamondbacks, Reds and Angels but it’s that depth that the Cubs are getting from the pitchers as well as their big bats that are doing the damage. last night, Jason Hammel got an RBI to add to his six shutout innings.
“I’m staying aggressive and not beating myself up like I was,” he said. “As long as I can stay with the thought process that I have right now and continue to execute when I need to, then it’ll be good.”
It’ll definitely be good. Everyone believes that the front line of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey would be the guys to take the Cubs to the promised land but if the team can continue to get key production from Hammel and Kyle Hendricks then that’ll be the ringer for this ball club.
So far, the Cubs have outscored opponents 64-21 and have tied a franchise best opening through nine games.
“When you get some runs to work with, you’re allowed to make mistakes,” Hammel said. “It’s like a family. So many guys bring so much to the table. It makes it easy to go out and have some fun. We’re having fun while we do our job.”
Now that the Opening Day/Opening Week festivities are over with and my wife can have the television back (and me as well), I have a mission for you Cubs fans across the United States, Canada and the world; enjoy this season, have fun with it and when the team goes through slumps like I know they will, this is going to be a great year. Theo Epstein is delivering on all that is advertised.