The last time we posted anything here was in JULY. I'd like to say we got so swept up in the Cubs second half play that we just couldn't get to it, but anyone who has followed this site for any amount of time knows that we're prone to just wandering off into the wilderness without word of when we'll be back. It can happen at any time.
So yes, we are the worst, but at least we know it. I would apologize for making us such a big part of your life and then going-out-for-a-pack-of-smokes-ing you all, but if we're your main source of Cubs news, jesus...I don't know what to tell you.
But holy shit, as bad as we are, the Cubs are the exact opposite of that. They are the best. I want to spend every day watching them be best friends and having more fun than anyone else while crushing all teams under their boot. I want to meet up with them and solve mysteries together. Since we last talked, the Cubs have been awesome and somehow remained really sharp despite playing about 20 of their final games with nothing on the line.
And now, as the Mets and Giants currently face off to determine who gets to come to Wrigley for the weekend, let me remind you that Thunder Matt's Saloon was the first major news source in the world to go on record and endorse a 2016 Cubs championship, and we're absolutely sticking to our prediction. I forgot until just now that I made a bunch of predictions in that piece. Should we see how good I did? Yes we should.
(NOTE: If you're reading this, that means that I probably did pretty good with said predictions because if it turns out I was WAY off, I would have deleted this part and made up something else in its place. I am a vain and petty person. But I'm writing and you're not, so I get to do things like that.)
"(Jon) Lester has a season not quite as good as his 2014 and not nearly as uneven as his 2015. Let's split the difference with an ERA around 2.90. Spread that across 200 innings and throw in north of 200 strikeouts and a handful of clutch playoff performances and you've got yourself a true second ace behind Jake Arrieta in the Cubs rotation."Did I get It Right?: Yeah, pretty much. I might have been a bit high on the strikeouts and ERA, but I'd say they're all close enough (and illustrating the point that I thought Lester would bounce back from a decent but not amazing 2015). Off to a great start!
"I think Bryant, Russell and Schwarber all fend off the dreaded Sophomore Slump and improve upon their 2015 seasons across the board."Did I get It Right?: Sorta? On one hand, I wasn't exactly going out on a huge limb with this one. On the other hand, Bryant and Russell did improve in their second years, both offensively and defensively. On the third imaginary hand, Schwarber didn't get much better at anything. On the fourth mutant Cronenberg hand, I'm in charge here so I'm taking this one. 2 for 2!
(Crosses fingers) PleasenothingHeywardpleasenothingHeywardpleasenothingHeyward...
Soler settles in and posts a 23 homer season with at least 70 runs and 70 RBI while hitting around .270.Did I get It Right?: No whammy! Well technically they're both disappointing outfielders, but yeah, I was way off on this one. While Soler did hit more home runs than he did in 2015, he was nowhere near 23 even in a year when everyone and their grandmother hit 20+. And if you add his runs and RBI, even that doesn't reach 70.
Before moving on, I will say that Soler was a bit better in the second half than the first, slashing .258/.348/.515 after the break. Although most of that damage happened in August, as he hit just .182 in September. Still, Soler proved last postseason that he can hit when it counts. Not bad out of your 7th or 8th best hitter.
Adam Warren and a full season of Clayton Richard and Trevor Cahill mean the bullpen could potentially go 6 deepDid I get It Right?: NOOOOOOOPE
The 2016 Cubs will win the World Series.Did I get It Right?: Remains to be seen. Probably.