The Cubs Sprayed the Ball All Over Beautifully and Other Bullets

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The Cubs Sprayed the Ball All Over Beautifully and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

Today’s date is a certain date that often yields certain jokes. I will have no further comment on the date, or the niceness thereof. Warm regards, and Bullets to follow …

  • The Cubs had an excellent offensive day yesterday, not only because of the 8 runs or the 14 hits or the 5-9 with runners in scoring position or the mere 6 strikeouts (although each of those things was also excellent). They had an excellent day because it looked like so many guys were having comfortable, confident at bats, squaring the ball up and willing going the other way when the pitch with which to do so presented itself. Sometimes the results make us assume the approach was good, but when you see the Cubs spraying line drives all over, at various stages in the count and on various pitches, it just feels like they were handling themselves very well, regardless of the results.
  • As Kyle Schwarber put it simply to ESPN: “Hit it where it’s pitched. We did that today, and you saw the results.”
  • Joe Maddon agreed (Cubs.com): “Good approach, good at-bats. It is so fun to watch. Keep your launch angles, keep your exit velocities, give me a good at-bat. Those were really good at-bats. Staying inside the ball, using the whole field – I promise you if they stay on that path, balls will still go out of the ballpark at the pace they’re capable of. With that, you’ll see better situational hitting, you’ll see higher batting averages, on-base percentages. I loved our approach today.” (Interesting to see Maddon reiterating his belief that launch angle – i.e., the fly ball revolution – will/should fade in favor of more classic hitting concepts.)
  • I know that Maddon said I could keep the exit velocities, but I’m going to share them anyway, because they are an impressive representation of how consistently hard the Cubs were hitting the ball yesterday:

  • (Side note: the three Cardinals balls that show up on that list were all barreled (i.e., optimum exit velocity and launch angle to do maximum damage) … and all three turned into outs. Sorry.)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Congrats to Joe Maddon and the Cubs:

  • Not too shabby for a guy who’s only been here just over three years.
  • The only unfortunate thing about yesterday’s game was Eddie Butler’s inability to get outs in the blowout, which turned things into a competitive affair, and forced the Cubs to use three key bullpen arms. They were undoubtedly very well rested coming into that game, but you’ll always take any extra days off you can get. At least there’s another scheduled off-day on Monday if the bullpen gets heavy usage this weekend in Colorado.
  • After yesterday’s game, Jason Heyward’s line stands at .226/.311/.358 with an 88 wRC+, which is the same number he posted last year. Here’s the question: knowing the downside risk, would you lock in that production for the full year right now if you could? That’s 12% below league average. Or would you roll the dice and hope for better?
  • Luis caught a fun moment at Gallagher Way yesterday before the game:

  • A video on the Cubs’ Bricks & Ivy Ball charity fundraiser:

  • Jake Arrieta did some things:


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Author: Brett Taylor

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