What a Big Swing Win for the Cubs and Other Bullets

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What a Big Swing Win for the Cubs and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Mousegate, Day 3: it wasn’t just one dead mouse left as a gift by our cats. I’ve now seen two live ones scurrying around at various times. Thankfully, the live ones bother me less than the dead one (figure that one out), but now the cats are constantly huddled up and staring at things. The oven. The cabinet. The dryer.

And I know why.

Because there’s something under there. Lurking. Chewing. Waiting for me to let my guard down.

  • Last night’s win feels like such a huge swing win for the Cubs in so many ways, some actual, some entirely mental. With another loss, not only would the Cubs have dropped four straight, but they would have done so against beatable teams, despite winnable match-ups, and all while losing Jake Arrieta for a start or two or more in the process. Moreover, the loss would have guaranteed losing a four-game series in Pittsburgh, immediately before a big weekend series against the Brewers. Things would be feeling very grim right now, especially since the bats have been absent for a while now. (That part is still true, of course, but at least the Cubs stole a win out of it.)
  • From a purely projection standpoint, the win stopped a skid in the Cubs’ odds of winning the NL Central. Before the three-game losing streak, the Cubs were at a season-high 95.9% to win the NL Central, per FanGraphs. That had slid to under 90% before rebounding to 91.0% last night.
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
  • Almost all of the credit for the win last night goes to the Cubs’ pitching, including three shutout innings from the bullpen. The funny thing is that, coming into the season, you may well have thought of Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, and Wade Davis as the de facto trio at the end of games, but when was the last time you can remember them actually going 1-2-3 in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings? Has it happened all year?
  • And, of course, there was Jose Quintana spinning six fantastic innings against a team he’d just faced last time out – not an easy task. That was actually Quintana’s third very good start in his last four outings, and his overall numbers with the Cubs now look pretty solid: 4.03 ERA (7% better than league average), 3.77 FIP (13% better than league average), 28.1% K rate (excellent), and 7.4% BB rate (good).
  • Alex Avila played hero last night, and he did it all while having to worry about his family and friends in South Florida as Hurricane Irma approaches.
  • Leonys Martin has had a weird Cubs career already:

  • The pitcher win is definitely a good and useful and not insane and useless statistic:

  • The get-in-the-door prices at our partner StubHub are surprisingly reasonable right now for tomorrow night’s game against the Brewers – the first ever regular season Friday night game at Wrigley (peruse for tickets here):

  • I feel ya, kid:

Author: Brett Taylor

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