Well, that was an April to remember. The Chicago Cubs had one of the best April’s in team history, going 17-5 and they’re on pace to have 125 win season. I doubt they’ll reach that number, but the fantasy of it coming to fruition is pretty amazing.
“Everybody is talking about the offense, but primarily the pitching and defense has set this up,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Two key areas the Cubs needed improvement on over the last couple of years was their patience at the plate and those RISP’s. This season has shown a marked improvement in those categories. The Cubs have outscored the competition 136-57 and drawn a league leading 121 walks. Not surprisingly, the Cubs are second in the MLB in runs with 136. I say not surprisingly because they trail the St. Louis Cardinals.
“These pitchers just can’t keep making that many good pitches if you force them to throw so many,” Maddon said. “That’s part of the concept people don’t get into enough. It’s not easy to keep dotting corners, getting the breaking balls underneath the bat, elevating when you want to.”
Another least surpassing statistic is pitching. The Cubs are second behind the Washington Nationals in ERA with 2.39 It’s going to be hard to keep that number down as the season wears on, but the Cubs have been outstanding.
So with that being said, the bullpen is the area that can suffer because of the great pitching the Cubs have been doing. The bullpen hasn’t seen much action this season because of this. As much as I’m a fan of pitchers going deep into games and getting no hitters, yeah that’s right Jake, I’m talking to you. Give the bullpen a chance.
“More than anything, it’s about the bullpen,” Maddon said. “The bullpen has not been by any means overtaxed during the first month of the season. We talked about that in spring training. We talked about it every year, not overworking the bullpen in the first month. So they’ve not been tested a whole lot.”
That could be a problem.
“The starters, they’ve just done a really wonderful job,” Maddon said. “A couple guys have had a couple blips, but for the most part, you can’t ask for a better month out of the entire group, starting and relieving.”
All right, some Sunday musing.
Ok, I collect baseball cards. It’s something I’ve been doing for the last ten years. I don’t have the biggest collection, but I have a focus to what I’d like to achieve. Yesterday, I added Kyle Schwarber to the wall. Now I have Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Addison Russell‘s rookie cards up on the wall. I’m not into collecting all the various formats, just the regular old Topps cards. Sure, I could run out and get the complete set, but that just wouldn’t be collecting now, would it? It’s a fun hobby and it looks great in the man cave.
Right now, I’m trying to get a 2016 Media Guide of the Cubs. I’ve phoned the hotline, but all I get is the answering machine. I leave my info, but nobody calls back. If anyone has any information on getting a media guide, let me know.