Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

jake arrieta beard featureThe family trip to the amusement park yesterday was a success. The kids had a blast, and I got to relive some glory days on a variety of roller coasters and thrill rides that simultaneously made me feel young and very old. Fun sub-story about these two pictures, which were before and after on one of the coasters: I had to get off that coaster before riding because someone had puked a couple cars ahead; then, after re-boarding and riding a second coaster, the young man seated directly in front of me puked twice. Worse, I had to sit a good five minutes behind him post-chuck, as we couldn’t get off our ride … because they were cleaning the car in front of us. Someone had puked on that one, too.

  • Until folks started saying it after the game, I can tell you with 100% honesty that I had no idea how many “wins” Jake Arrieta had, or that his now 15 wins is tops in baseball (though I could have told you his ERA/FIP/xFIP almost to the second decimal, and his strikeout rate and walk rate). While being tops in “wins” is cool in some completely useless anecdotal sense, I was surprised at just how much I’ve tuned out pitcher wins and losses in the last couple years. I long knew that they were a terrible measure of pitcher performance, but I guess my transformation to the Kill-The-Win side is complete. I suppose the point here is to remind folks that, just because Arrieta is on top doesn’t mean it’s suddenly time to start caring again about a stat that measures terrible, misleading information that we should have absolutely no interest in knowing.
  • Instead, what you should know is that Arrieta’s 2.30 ERA is 4th lowest in baseball, his 2.62 FIP is 5th lowest, his 2.83 xFIP is 6th lowest, and his 4.5 WAR is 8th highest. Those are the numbers – if you have to boil it down to numbers at all – that demonstrate he is a complete and total stud.

  • Right there with Arrieta in most of those stats is Corey Kluber, whose win/loss record is 8-13. Meanwhile, the Rangers’ Colby Lewis is 13-5 with a 4.49 ERA, a 4.11 FIP, a 4.41 xFIP (all well below average), and has been worth just 1.9 WAR. I could go on with the examples, but I won’t, because you already know in your heart of hearts.
  • Obligatory: “pitcher win” is not the same thing as “team win.” The latter actually matters more than any stat, and the former is just a couple words that some idiot put side-by-side a long time ago to confuse people.
  • An incredible read on how assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske helped Anthony Rizzo hit lefties better by crowding the plate.
  • Kris Bryant left last night’s game early, and, because it came after fouling a ball off his leg – a night after fouling one off his foot – some concern is understandable. The Cubs say the removal was simply for rest because of the score, and not because of an injury (

  • Sahadev Sharma talked to Kyle Hendricks about the mechanical issues he’s hoping to fix.
  • If you missed it a little bit ago, the Cubs have inked a new sponsorship deal, which includes a spot on the marquee.
  • This morning, I went into the latest Scoreboard Watching.
  • Joe Maddon, discussing last night’s win:

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