Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

tsuyoshi wada featureMan, it’s going to be a really busy day around here. So, so much to discuss. Hence the podcast post, the Bryant post, and the Minor League Daily all before the Bullets, and all before 8:30am CT …

  • Tsuyoshi Wada is a badass. Don’t take it from me – that’s how Wada, himself, led off his post-game press conference with that (, in English, courtesy of Joe Maddon telling him what to say. And last night, Wada certainly was, going seven innings, striking out six, walking two, and allowing four hits. Had some good defense behind him and a huge lead to work with, but, still, he was pitching well, especially with his fastball. Perhaps pitching with a huge lead helped Wada really attack hitters, which is when he seems to be at his best. Wada is going to give up some hard contact, and, because of his flyball tendencies, that’s going to result in some bombs. But he can’t try and get too fine to avoid those things, because then he falls behind, and things only get worse for him. (The must-share closing quote from the end of that recap, from Wada: “Hopefully this is a step-by-step thing. Every outing should be better each time. And then hopefully I will be able to say badass again.”)
  • All that said, I think Wada bought himself another turn in the rotation, but the Cubs will probably continue to consider their options for the back of the rotation as we head toward July.

  • The Win Probability chart from last night’s game is a fun one to look at, with the Indians’ chances of winning reaching 0.0% by the middle innings. Also, Kyle Schwarber was the Cubs’ Win Probability Added leader last night, which is fun.
  • Speaking of which, Schwarber’s four-hit night increased his line to .667/.667/1.000 with a 364 wRC+. Oh, that was just his first full game? So what I just typed is silly? Shut up. You’re silly. Kyle Schwarber is a badass.
  • Speaking of which redux, here’s a great read on Schwarber from Patrick Mooney, with quotes from Theo Epstein and Cubs Scouting Director Matt Dorey.

  • Chris Coghlan also had a great game last night (who didn’t?), going 2 for 3 with 3 walks, bumping his line up to .251/.333/.449 (111 wRC+). I’ve been saying it for over a month, and finally the results are backing me up: the guy is hitting at least as well this year as last year, when he was one of the best hitters on the team. Even from his breakout last year, his walk rate is UP. His strikeout rate is DOWN. His ISO is UP. His hard contact rate is UP. His medium contact rate is UP. His soft contact rate is DOWN.
  • I’m not going to argue that the defensive metrics (which love him right now) are correct, but he did make this great play at the plate last night, and this great catch the night before.
  • Joe Maddon expects Miguel Montero (scratched yesterday with a back issue) to be able to play today (ESPN).
  • Things are working out well for the Cubs’ new Northwest League affiliate, the Eugene Emeralds. They’ve already sold out all of their suites and picnic areas for the first time since 2009, and they have as many game sellouts as they typically have in an entire season.
  • The full Wada post-game, if you’d like it (and you would):

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