The Cubs won their 40th game of the season. They reached that milestone with the help of Jason Heyward, whose May wasn’t that spectacular but June has given the outfielder something too cheer about.
“We just kept the proverbial grinding out of the at-bats,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We scored enough runs, we caught the ball on defense. We’ve had great starting pitching. You score six runs and have to fasten your seat belts in the ninth.”
So, there’s been a lot of talking about how the Cubs are on pace for a 116 win season but here’s how MLB is steeped in too much lore. Anything can happen. The Cubs could go on a major losing streak and other teams can tear it up. Sure, the fastest to the 40 win mark was the Seattle Mariners in 2001, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Being on pace and doing it are two different things entirely. If anything, fans should concentrate on the pitching staff.
Those are pretty impressive and perhaps Kyle should change his name to Jim or something. Lester’s having a great year and last night’s eight shutout innings in the 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies is making me a believer.
“I feel more comfortable this year,” Lester said. “As the year went on [last season], you could really see Joe open up and become more Joe. We had a little bit more fun once we started winning. That just carried over to this year. … Everybody feels more relaxed this year.”
He still has trouble tossing the ball to first but I guess who cares as long as he keeps grinding away.
There’s rumblings about Jose Bautista coming down to the North Side at the trade deadline. He would be a good fit but he’d also come with a whopping price tag. With Kyle Schwarber down and now Jorge Soler walking off the field in yesterday’s game, this could be a reality.
“Hammies, once you do that, it’s something that really does follow, hopefully not to a severe degree,” Maddon said. “I was a really good hamstring puller. I was one of the best. So I know what it feels like, and I know what the recovery’s like. It’s more painful than breaking something.”
So whether the Cubs cruise to a 116 win season or not, there’s no denying that this has been a special year so far and baseball fans everywhere are taking notice of the “Cubbies”. It’s still a long way to October and the trade deadline hasn’t happened. Not being cynical, just–