There isn’t necessarily a harmonizing factor to this post – just a lot of things I was thinking about this morning, and things from the Cubs’ fun start to the season, that I wanted to share.
Last night, the Chicago Cubs made Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Alfredo Simon throw 49 pitches in the first inning. An inning that he did not complete.
Then, the Cubs made Reds relievers throw an additional 139 pitches in under eight innings of work. To say that the Cubs worked those pitchers on a cold April night would be charitable. I think brutalized is more accurate.
The Cubs drew 10 walks in the game, and every single starter except Dexter Fowler had at least one. And Fowler doubled, stole a base, and was hit by a pitch.
As we’ve discussed before, the Cubs are barely middle of the pack in baseball in homers, and yet their 7.0 runs per game comfortably sits atop all of baseball.
The Cubs have a 14.5% walk rate as a team, which is incredible for so many reasons: (1) it’s tops in baseball by nearly 3(!) percentage points; (2) it’s not even 6 percentage points lower than their strikeout rate (20.2%, 9th best in baseball); and (3) the pitching staff’s walk rate, 4.8%, is best in baseball in the other direction.
Just eight games into the season, the Cubs already have a couple games clearance from the other teams in the NL Central, and I can’t help but think about the fact that it took a late blown lead for the Cubs to even lose that one single game.
The Cubs are on pace to win 142 games this season, which would be pretty good.
By the way: the Cubs’ bullpen, which was already performing like the best unit in baseball, got in another 2.1 scoreless innings of work.
Miscellaneous visual fun stuff:
You can put this one in your back pocket for future use. Not sure how often the Cubs will need it, though. pic.twitter.com/puEZVvYEDy
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) April 14, 2016
— Randall J. Sanders (@RandallJSanders) April 14, 2016