The Offense Was Not Itself and Other Bullets

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The Offense Was Not Itself and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

I’m on my way to Chicago right now, which is why these bullets are a little later than usual, and also why they will be brief.

  • The Cubs have been shut out four times in their last eight games. Sure, much of that was excellent pitching, but it is still truly remarkable. Not in a good way.
  • About that, you can read the Cubs’ and Joe Maddon’s thoughts on how that happened last night (here, here, here), but you won’t be surprised at what you see: there may have been some over-eagerness, presumably because of the stiff wind blowing out, and the Cubs expanded their strike zone significantly. Facing a starter who is known to pound the zone, with the wind howling out, I can understand the approach initially, but there probably was not enough adjustment as the game went on. In sum, they were not themselves, and it got them in trouble.
  • More on that:

  • Having watched several more replays of the failed pick-off attempt at third base before the only run of the game scored, I’ve changed my mind from what I was saying on Twitter last night. While I still think you can see Kris Bryant’s glove bend on the runner’s jersey a fraction of a second before the runner’s hand gets past Bryant’s shoe to the base, I not longer think it’s “clear and convincing” – instead, I think it’s more like “probable.” But, since the call on the field was out, the call should stand. You tell me what you think:

  • A Cubs fan is watching his last World Series.
  • I know it’s what a lot of folks want to grouse about, but I just don’t see it: Jorge Soler had a wind-aided triple in the bottom of the seventh, but it came with two outs and the Cubs did not score. Out of the box, Soler thought it would be foul, and did not run hard until he was close to first base. To me, he could not have had an inside-the-parker even if he ran harder out of the box – yes, he should run harder in that situation, but he cost himself maybe the one second difference between jogging the first 60 feet and running the first 60 feet – he would have needed another 3 or 4 seconds to score.
  • Also, the data says that basically no one could have caught Coco Crisp’s game-winning single, so we can put that to bed:

  • Among many other notes on John Lackey in this excellent FanGraphs piece, check out the enormous spread in his results when he starts out with strike one as opposed to ball one – it’s the biggest spread among starters in baseball this year. Wow.
  • About tonight’s game:


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.