Well, the Cubs didn’t make it a blowout, but a win is a win. Jon Lester threw seven fantastic innings, and I can’t wait to look at the data and break it down a bit. It looked like he had good command, and a sharpness on his slider and cutter. Sure, it was a weak Brewers lineup, but that doesn’t make it a gimme. Great job by Lester.
The Cubs’ bullpen took it from there, and the only run they needed to win was the one that came off of Addison Russell’s first career homer. So that’s a pretty nice memory for the young man.
Without question, the Cubs cost themselves at least a run or two on the basepaths today, getting thrown out three times (twice on a first to third, once on a steal of second attempt). But I’d like to raise a point: aggressive baserunning is not binary. There is not purely “good” aggressive baserunning, and purely “bad” aggressive baserunning. Aggressive baserunning is simply the recognition that extra bases are out there to be taken – some more likely to be achieved than others – and defenders don’t always make perfect plays. Thus, sometimes the “80% chance of success” in taking third fails. That doesn’t mean it was a bad attempt. These also aren’t things you can calculate on the fly, no matter how big your supercomputer (if the Cubs have one, that is).
So, you push the envelope and see how far you can take things. Today might be a day on which the Cubs will have to reflect, and maybe take things back a notch. I am not terribly upset about the way this process plays out – sometimes it will result in days like today.
Anyway, back to the win …