Eight-Run Beauty, Cubs Blow-Up Games, Hancock's Debut, and Other Bullets

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Eight-Run Beauty, Cubs Blow-Up Games, Hancock’s Debut, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The school year is already getting close to an end, so I’m visiting The Little Girl’s class again today to help out with some math stuff. They do parent volunteers for various things, and I’m pretty grateful that my job lets me participate. And I can show of some math skills! Think the first graders want to learn about how to calculate BABIP and understand its relationship to hard and soft contact vis a vis xwOBA?

  • The Cubs did most of their damage yesterday in the huge third inning, batting around, and recording their three outs only because of a sac bunt by the pitcher, a rocket sac fly, and an inning-ending fly out by the pitcher. When those are your outs, you know an inning must have gone very well.
  • Speaking of which, enjoy the highlights from that eight-run outburst:

  • That was a great deal of fun, and I move that the Cubs face a Marlins fly ball pitcher on a windy day for the majority of their remaining baseball games.
  • The Cubs’ offense loves them some blowup games:

  • Oh, and the Cubs scored four runs after the one on Monday, so they’re totally cured of that pesky boom-bust cycle! They’re gonna score 80 on Friday!
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
  • After all that, the Cubs are now only a game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central … and are in fourth place. Heh. It’s all bunched up right now, and then there are the Reds, already 11.5 games out.
  • Jose Quintana velocity check: the lefty was sitting at 92 mph yesterday, which is down a half-click from last year, but holding steady on the improvement he saw after his first few unnervingly low starts.
  • Justin Hancock, making his big league debut, maxed out at 98.9 mph yesterday, so no triple digits out of the gate. But he can get there, and he pairs the fastball with a nice slider. Like Luke Farrell, Hancock is a recent bullpen convert who clearly has at least two big-league-caliber pitches – that’s your starter kit for being an effective big league reliever. At that point, just how nasty those pitches can be and consistent command are what separates the guys who stick and the guys who wind up bouncing from hopeful org to hopeful org on the waiver wire. Hancock gave up a homer on a good pitch yesterday, and also a walk (that should have been a strikeout). A big league debut is tough for anyone, but I thought Hancock looked good and pitched appropriately to the situation.
  • (I still like Luke Farrell, too, by the way. You are reminded that the game he “blew” before being sent down featured two strikeouts, an infield single, and a fly ball that left the park down the line but is actually something of a routine out 55% of the time. It wasn’t crushed.)
  • Cubs job alert: player development analyst. Tell ’em Bert sent you.
  • So far, Jake Arrieta is doing his thing and giving up NO hard contact, which is quite good. But if I’m a Phillies fan, I’m a bit nervous about his strikeout rate being so low (16.1%) and walk rate ticking up (8.8%).
  • Oh you silly guys and your crazy shenanigans:

  • More importantly:

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.