10:10 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk
Ugh, well that was certainly a week worth forgetting.
Oh yeah, we're still a thing around here. Longtime readers of this site will know that sometimes, without warning or much reason, things will sort of go quiet around here. I've been on a break because I was getting married, or at least that seemed like the valid excuse for the first week or two. I don't know what everyone else was up to, with everyone yelling about Shia LahBoof and sandwichboxing. That's what we bring to the table that most Cubs sites don't: unbridled ridiculousness.
(And again, if you didn't read Shooter's piece last week about the new Sport Of Kings, do so right now and then come back and listen to me spout my garbage)
Once you get out of your rhythm when it comes to writing this stuff, it's sometimes hard to get back into it. It takes something really powerful to jolt you back to life and get those words flowing again.
And that powerful thing was the stench coming from the giant turd that the Cubs laid last week.
Swept by the Cardinals at Wrigley? Gross.
Lose 3 of 4 to the Marlins? Pungent.
Maybe it's because we've been on an extended honeymoon phase with this team for almost three months - a honeymoon that keeps going past its expected lifespan by reviving itself with the occasional home sweep of the Nationals or Pirates - but some people seem to be losing their shit.
Yeah, it wasn't a great week, but let's all calm down and remember that even really good teams only win 60% of their games because baseball is the most fickle, luck-affected major sport. Seriously...BABIP is a stat that exists to tell us what players are statistically lucky/unlucky. WE HAVE CALCULATED OUT AN ABSTRACT CONCEPT WITH MATH.
Listen, just have a few drinks and relax, man. Go take a sauna. Get drunk and fight your brother. Do whatever you gotta do to get you back in a calm mindset. Every team struggles, even the great ones. It's not time to jump off the roof just yet. Here are some reasons to definitely not kill yourself:
It's Not Like We Lost To Nobodies:
If you're anything like me, it seems like the thorn in the side of this year's Cubs team has been, to be honest, awful teams. For a team playing as well as the Cubs have been so far this season, they certainly have lost their fair share of games to the Padres/Braves/Brewers/Rockies of the world. But guess what? That wasn't the case this week. Both the Cardinals and the Marlins are playing quite well as of late, after slow starts for both teams. If the season ended today, the Marlins would be the second Wild Card team, with the Cards just a game behind them. So it's not like that one week where we lost a bunch of games to the Padres.
The Cubs Didn't Even Look That Bad:
A lot of the games last week were actually pretty close. At least, until the bullpen got involved. They looked bad. I'm super glad that the Cubs have been rumored to be looking for bullpen help, and sooner rather than later, because the bullpen has been suuuuper shaky lately.
The Youth Movement Has Been As Advertised:
Jorge Soler is hurt. Dexter Fowler is hurt. Rizzo and Zobrist are banged up. Those are some big names to not have in a lineup. For a look at how bad a team can struggle if 2-3 players from their AAA team are forced into the lineup, look no further than the Royals. But the Cubs have been able to plug the leaks spectacularly, partially because Baez and Bryant have been able to move all around the diamond, and partially because Almora Jr and Contreras have been as good as advertised. I know it's a small sample size and all so far, but Almora has been great with the glove and just good enough with the bat and Contreras looks like he has the potential to give the Cubs back some of that offense they lost when Schwarber hurt his knee. And if Fowler moves on after this year, Almora can take over in CF while Contreras can split time between C/1B/LF to spell MIGMON and Schwarber next year.
Remember Our Division:
I think the Cubs have beat up on the Pirates enough to lump them in with the Reds and the Brewers in the "We should look forward to these games because the Cubs have a really good chance of winning". The Cubs have 35 games left against the Pirates and Brewers and Reds and have 6 more against the A's and Padres, which comes out to 41 games that you would hope the Cubs could play at least .630 ball against those games. That would be 26-15 ideally and put the Cubs 74-41, meaning they could go .500 against the rest of the teams on the schedule and finish with 98 wins.
Heyward Still Isn't Hitting:
He's gotta come around at some point, right?
The Cubs still have the best record in baseball (tied!) and are 22 games over .500 with a nine game lead on the second place Cardinals. We're fine.