Can we just pause for a moment to appreciate that the 2017 Chicago Cubs reached 90 wins?
Sure, if I told you that was going to happen back in March, you probably would have wondered if I was going to say ninety-another-number, or wondered whether it was mid-September.
But here we stand, it’s September 29, and I’m going to say that it’s pretty fantastic that the Cubs reached 90 wins.
First of all, 90 wins, whatever your expectations entering a season, is an impressive threshold to reach. Know how many times the Cubs have hit 90 wins since 1990? Five times. Just five times in 28 seasons. And three of those five were the last three seasons!
Know when the last time was that the Cubs won 90 games in three consecutive seasons? 1928 to 1930. David Ross wasn’t even out of primary school in 1930.
Depending on your preferred projection system, the 2017 Cubs, coming into the year, were projected to win about 94-95 games. That may have seemed low to you at the time, but projection systems are conservative on team win totals, because those 100-win seasons are actually extreme outliers in the pantheon of all the good teams in baseball history. I said at the time, and I’ll affirm it now, I thought a 94-95 win projection for the Cubs seemed pretty fair.
They won’t quite get there, but look how close they’re going to go come! This was a team that was two games under .500 at the All-Star break. And now they’ve hit 90 wins, and could go as high as 93 before the season is over. That’s nuts.
It’s also a reminder of the length of the MLB season, and the fact that talent and depth does uuuuuuusually does win out by the end of the season. And this Cubs team has those things aplenty.