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The Cubs Are Winning Because They’re Good or Good Because They’re Winning and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News
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The big kids are in a summer swim class thing, so I’ll be posting these Bullets while dutifully watching over their instruction and crossing my fingers that The Little Boy doesn’t have to go to the bathroom several times during the lesson.

  • It is inevitable, whether after a long losing streak or a long winning streak, that we have a tendency to ascribe the results on the field to some overarching off-the-field “thing.” I touched on my circumspection with this way of thinking a bit when the Cubs were in the deepest of their woes, and it would only be fair to raise the same hesitation when things are going in the opposite direction. Don’t get me wrong, I like hearing that the team feels more of a sense of urgency and purpose after that losing streak, and a greater sense of togetherness (ESPN), but I also think there’s a bit of ex post facto’ing that goes on in these situations. Is the team winning because everyone is happy and together … or is everyone happy and together because they’re winning? I’m sure there’s at least a little bit of both, but I don’t like the idea that the Cubs were somehow a fundamentally worse team just last week, and then a switch flipped and they’re suddenly good again. They were always good. Flawed, but good.
  • For his part, Joe Maddon says it feels different in the dugout, and is “more reminiscent of the last two years.” (Cubs.com)

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • The offense, which put up double digit runs for the first time since May 21, also did something more simple that they haven’t done since the following day:

  • As good as last night’s game was for virtually every Cub, it was an extremely forgettable one for Addison Russell, whose first inning bobble led to the first Marlins run, let a ball get past him for an error as the Marlins’ second run scored, and also was the only starter hitless on the night. There will be better days for the extremely talented 23-year-old, but it’s been a rough 2017 so far.

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  • If you were watching and complaining last night, yes, a review of the PitchFX for the strike zone at Brooks demonstrates it was a really poorly called zone. Mistake-filled and also inconsistent for both teams. The Cubs had ten(!) pitches in the strike zone (not even the “typically called” zone, but the actual rule book strike zone) that were called balls, and the Marlins had six, four of which were not even remotely close to the edge of the zone.
  • On the whole, despite the numerical imbalance, the Cubs benefited more when you consider that the pivotal 5th inning rally started with two outs and a walk to Jon Jay that clearly should have had a called strike three.
  • Sahadev Sharma has an extremely fun read over at The Athletic, asking every Cubs player who was their favorite player growing up. No surprise, but there are a ton Ken Griffey Jr. fans and Pedro Martinez fans.
  • Anthony Rizzo had the big home run last night, and also, it turns out, pulled a Paul O’Neill:


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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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