It’s amazing to think that going into the 2016 MLB season, Cubs fans were on a high with Jake Arrieta‘s Cy Young winning performance last year. Although, Arrieta’s pitched really well, he’s shown fans that he’s human. Last night, the Cubs behind Jason Hammel beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 in front of a raucous Wrigley Field crowd. It was Hammel’s eleventh win of the season, setting a career high. This is the second time in his career that Hammel has collected four straight wins.
“As long as we keep taking care of our business and not looking outside to see where other teams are located, nothing else matters. If the surge is now, if the surge is in September, if we surge all the way from August through September to October, that’d be great. We’ll just keep going one game at a time.” Hammel said.
It goes to show you that when pitchers are working hard on the mound, the results will happen. The Cubs are 12-6 since the All Star game and won five straight series at home. If you can’t win at home, you’re not going to win anywhere else.
Sometimes I lay in bed at night and think what the Cubs could have been like if Dexter Fowler didn’t go on the disabled list(Naw, he doesn’t really keep me up at night). What would the Cubs record be like? Last night he went 3 for 4 and has scored a run in his last five games. He truly is the master OBP with .403 and when it comes to triples nobody can touch him with 69 since 2009.
“Dexter got the whole thing rolling,” Joe Maddon said. “When he plays at that level, he picks everybody else up and it accelerates everybody’s confidence, hitting-wise. He’s a nuisance to the other team.”
The other impressive thing that I noticed about the Cubs is they haven’t been going yard in a while, last four games to be exact. So, it’s been the small ball that’s taking over. Man, that’s going to provide dividends come October. Look at the way Kansas City handled everyone else? There’s also the resurgence of Jason Heyward who has hit in his last eight games.
There’s two months left of baseball, or the equivalent of rounding second base. The Cubs are getting key performances from their low key guys and getting the wins in one run games 14-16. This is the way baseball should be played.
Also, Willson Contreras has proven that he’s the Cubs catcher of the future. He went 2 for 3 and has gained the respect of pitchers.
“He’s a great kid — I love him,” Hammel said. “He basically has gotten better every start I’ve worked with him. The game calling, the blocking — he’s even coming up to me and giving me hugs. He saw that I was frustrated coming out early and he’s like, ‘Hey, nice job.’ He’s got kind words, wise words beyond his young years. I was very proud of him.”