Flurry of stuff this morning, eh?
- With last night’s win, the 2016 Chicago Cubs are the fastest team to 40 wins since the 2001 Mariners – the team that set the record for wins at 116 (tied with the 1906 Cubs) … which is exactly the Cubs’ current pace. An incredible start to the year for the Cubs, to be sure, and it got me thinking about how cool it would be for this Cubs team to set a new record for wins. Yes, winning the World Series is THE THING for the Cubs, but having the record for wins – making them arguably the best regular season team of all time – would be something to hold onto for a very long time.
- So, a hypothetical question: let’s say you could guarantee, today, that the Cubs would set that record. The only catch is, you know that they will not win the World Series this year. Let’s say it’s another NLCS loss. Do you take that – lock it in now – or take nothing at all, and roll the dice with whatever will happen this year (the Cubs’ current World Series odds are just a hair under 20%, which is as strong as any odds you’ll ever see for a team during the regular season)?
- … for Cubs fans, that’s probably not a difficult choice. And, even though I came up with it, I’ll admit that, of course, I would also roll the dice on a chance at the World Series. I do think it’s a fun thing to think about, though, especially if you were the fan of a team that wasn’t trying to erase such an absurdly long championship drought. For example, don’t you think Giants fans would take the 117 wins right now? After all, some team wins the World Series every single year. No team has ever won 117 games.
- Paired with the Pirates’ rainout last night, the Cubs’ win pushed their NL Central lead to a season-high 10.0 games.
- We’ll have more later on Jon Lester’s second consecutive dominant start – and the decision to pull him after eight innings – but I just wanted to point out something incredible: even after he’s been so ridiculous this year, Lester’s FIP and xFIP are actually still slightly higher this year than they were last year with the Cubs, when he was criminally underappreciated. The ERA, of course, is waaaaay better, which is the product of both skill and good fortune (and, I suspect, better holding of baserunners), and that’s mostly what folks notice. I just thought it was interesting.
- Jason Heyward ripped a homer last night, his third of the season and second in a few days, which is hopefully a good sign for his power – Mark Simon at ESPN sees some tentative good signals.
- The fan that was hit by Freddy Galvis’s flying bat last night is reportedly going to be OK, if you were concerned.
- The Cardinals yesterday sent Kolten Wong, who has really been struggling, to AAA in order to clear a spot for returning infielder Jhonny Peralta. About that extension …
- Madison Bumgarner wants to participate in the Home Run Derby, which is not as crazy as it sounds when you dig in on his homer rate. Also at Baseball is Fun, David Ortiz destroying piñatas at kids’ birthday parties makes for a funny commercial.
- If you missed it early this morning, Jorge Soler is getting an MRI, and, if he goes to the DL, Albert Almora is a candidate to replace him. Also, the latest from the Minor League Daily.
- Big sale (62% off) on a jump starter at Amazon if you ever wanted one for your car.
Obsessive Manager Watch: Giants Interested in Venable, Phillies on Dusty, Fuld Passes On Cubs, Morerardi and Kapler