If you look up the statistics, triples are a lot more difficult to get then home runs. Very rarely, do you see a player with more than 10 triples in a season. In fact, Curtis Grandson is the only active player with over 20 in a season. Last night, Addison Russell came through when the Chicago Cubs needed him most by destroying a two run triple in the sixth inning as the Chicago Cubs went on to down the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3.
Now, I’m only a little bit superstitious but the Cubs are off to their best start since 1907 with a 15-5 record.
“He’s not shy,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Well, he’s shy, but he’s not shy. He’s not afraid of that moment. He hits that gap in big moments, that right-central gap. This last road trip, the part I liked about his at-bats was that he was accepting walks. A big part of what you’re seeing now is that he’s swinging at better pitches.”
That’s what the Cubs have been doing. With a league leading 103 walks, the Cubs are getting on base and playing great small ball. It really doesn’t matter how you get on base as long as you get on and keep moving the runners. Do you remember a couple of years ago when the Cubs were horrible with runners in scoring position? The Cubs have been solving that problem this year. Second in the league with 116 RBI’s just slightly behind league leaders St. Louis Cardinals.
That’s how you win ballgames.
I was blown away by the pitching of Kyle Hendricks. His pitching is fast and surgeon like. A low baller, with no style, he got to work in the cold confines of Wrigley Field and lasted for five innings. When he was pulled, although he could have gone deeper in the game, he was a professional.
“I want to say about Kyle right there, a lot of guys would’ve been crying, a lot of guys, ‘Why me?'” Maddon said. “He did not do that for one second. He understood the situation completely. I want to tell you that doesn’t happen every time. He was pitching great. There was no reason to take him out. It was a National League move entirely right there, it’s a National League move with the wind blowing in your face. … I really commend him for getting it.”
He’s the perfect pitcher for the five slot and arguably the best bottom of the rotation pitcher in the game.
Which sets the stage for tonight’s game with Jake Arrieta. Will he make it two in a row? Before last night’s game, Jake was presented with a watch, framed jersey and photos of his big day. With Arrieta’s recent success, there’s been some rumblings on the use of performance enhancing drugs. It’s hard not to get the rumour mill turning when a guy pitches two no-hitters in 11 outings.
“I think it’s funny,” he said. “I’ve always been in good shape. I just sucked early in my career from a statistical perspective. My body has always been very similar to how it is now. The results are different, so people want to question things. That’s the nature of sports.”
Say it ain’t so, Jake.