The Cubs Defense Made Some Fireworks of Their Own Yesterday (VIDEOS)

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The Cubs Defense Made Some Fireworks of Their Own Yesterday (VIDEOS)

Chicago Cubs

We’ll take a much closer look at the Cubs recent hot streak later today, but with their sixth win a row, the team has set a new season-high in consecutive wins (6) and games over .500 (13, tied). And unlike the first four games of this stretch, the last two against the Tigers were won on more than the strength of the offense.

Indeed, the best defense in baseball showed off their glove work yesterday, and it was a clinic, enjoyable as ever. For example, in a one-run game, Albert Almora Jr. kept things right where they were:

Obviously, Almora has always gotten high marks for his defense in center field, but there’s no question that Jason Heyward and even Kyle Schwarber are the feared guns in the Cubs’ outfield. It’s fair to give Almora some love on that front, too, though.

Almora fielded that liner on one hop and although the throw wasn’t right on the money, it was plenty strong and gave Contreras enough time to field it, slide over, make the sweeping tag at the plate, and preserve the lead at a critical moment in the game. And that was a runner who got a great read off the bat, too.

An inning earlier Addison Russell made one of the smoother sliding catches you’ll see:

I know Javy Baez gets most of the attention for his slick defense, but I think you could argue Russell is the “smoother” infielder. The way he cradles that ball, touches the ground for a second and pops right back up reminds me of a breakdancer’s finishing move. There’s so much butter to his game, and it’s really fun to watch.

All together, the Chicago Cubs defense has a 42.5 DEF rating, which is the most in baseball. Only one other team, the Brewers, are even over 40 and, for a real crazy reference frame, consider that the tenth-place Royals have a Def score of just 9.4. The Cubs defense is four times better than the tenth place team. That’s nuts.

As far as I’m concerned, Albert Almora, Addison Russell, Javy Baez, Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras, and Anthony Rizzo should all be seriously considered for Gold Glove awards this season, and I think you could throw in a case for Kyle Schwarber, too.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami