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Winning Records, Checked Swings, Arrieta’s Outing, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

Stormy Saturdays are no good with three kids who need to get outside … says dad as he tries to bang away at his computer, safely inside.

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  • If you’re in a “I need silver linings” mood today after the last two losses, maybe this will help: at 12-10, the Cubs still have a winning record this April, despite playing only two teams – the Reds and Pirates (who are good) – with losing records so far.
  • … then again, the only team they’ve played in a full series with a winning record so far is the Cardinals, who are now 12-11. The Cubs’ overall opponent winning percentage so far is just .496. So, basically, the Cubs have played a pretty neutral schedule so far, and I have no actual silver linings for you. Happy Saturday!
  • It was a shrug-your-shoulders kind of outing for Jake Arrieta last night, who put it this way (Cubs.com): “We got beat today based on their output in the first inning, and that was on me. I had some really good stuff. The home run I gave up, got the ball elevated and made a few pitches in spots that I shouldn’t have. They strung some hits together and came out ready to play in the first.” My view was the same as his: I saw good stuff and good command after the first, but the location in the first was up-up-up. Not every hit was wrecked, but he also wasn’t missing bats – so you’ll give up some hits that way, even if some are “unlucky.” By the end of it, he got 13 whiffs, which is an indicator that he did have decent stuff working.
  • Earlier, I looked at the starting pitcher performances thus far for the Cubs, and pondered just how much is signal and how much is noise. They certainly played a part in the Cubs’ last two one-run losses, but this was obviously a significant factor as well:

  • You won’t win too many games like that, and it’s actually pretty shocking the Cubs were within one run both times despite huge early deficits, and no production whatsoever with guys on base.
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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  • Speaking of those starters, they know – and the Cubs’ coaches know – they have to do a better job of making adjustments more quickly in games when things are going sideways early (ESPN).

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  • This was actually the one that was closer to being a swing:

  • Twice last night, Kris Bryant was called out by the home plate umpire on a check swing, something that drives me uncontrollably insane – just ask the first base umpire! aren’t you watching the pitch location!?!? That one there could arguably have been a swing, even though Bryant “didn’t break his wrists” – that’s more of a guide post than a rule. Instead, the rule is basically, “Did the batter make an attempt to hit the pitch?” It’s rough and flabby, and all the more reason to let another umpire with a better angle help you out.
  • Today’s Cubs lineup is out, as they’ll face knuckleballer Steven Wright.
  • If he could just stay healthy …


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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