The Bats Get Slap Happy, the Arms Are Refreshed, Never Doubt Javy, and Other Bullets

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The Bats Get Slap Happy, the Arms Are Refreshed, Never Doubt Javy, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Whenever this new Disney streaming service thing becomes available, I’m gonna get it, I’m gonna watch all the Marvel movies straight through, and then I’m gonna be like, “OK, so now what?”

  • The last time the Cubs scored 9 runs in a game was on August 26, which was very early in this 30 scheduled games in 30 days stretch, and it was surrounded by games of 7 runs and 10 runs. They were rested, refreshed, facing hittable pitching, and had just added Daniel Murphy to the mix. With Kyle Schwarber due back later this week, the Cubs will healthy on the offensive side again as they head into a weekend series against the White Sox. I kinda wonder if they score 50 in that series.
  • Of course, baseball will frequently baseball, and maybe that series will be another offensive thud. What I like very much from the offense these last two nights in Arizona is that they are simply hitting the ball very hard. They’re actually striking out a fair bit, and there haven’t been a ton of walks. But they have been doing the best thing you can do as a hitter that is somewhat within your own control: slap the crap outta the ball. For the second straight game, the Cubs had an elevated hard contact rate as a team (38.5%), and almost no soft contact (7.7%).
  • Despite a really rough second half, Ian Happ is hitting .229/.347/.410 (103 wRC+) on the year. That’s 3% better than average. Not great. But also not terrible for a guy who just turned 24 and is still only in his first full MLB season. It’s no secret that he’s gotta work on his hellacious strikeout rate (36.5% … yikes), though that can be improved. He’s very susceptible to the high heat right now, but he’s made that adjustment before. Given his age and upside, I’ve got plenty of patience.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
  • Mike Montgomery, who as great last night – as he has been most of this year in a fill-in starter role – sums up how things are going for the Cubs right now, particularly on the pitching side ( “We’ve had those injuries that really affect guys and guys have to step up. They’ve done a great job and they’ve got a lot of innings and a lot of outings. Playoff baseball, it’s a little bit different. Games are a little bit shorter and it’s more about win at all costs as opposed to saving guys’ arms. We definitely have the guys to do it. We’ve got 10 or so games left this year and we’re feeling pretty confident going into the last stretch.”
  • Speaking of which, after a nice long stretch of deep starts – despite the schedule – the bullpen is seemingly very well-rested right now.
  • Sometimes, I’ll watch an inning or two on the other team’s broadcast, just to get a sense of how they’re talking about their team and the Cubs, and also in case something hilarious like this happens:

  • (And yes, that booth includes former Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, who seemed especially unimpressed by Baez.)
  • Awful news for the Darvish and Yamamoto families:

  • The Cubs are using the off-day Thursday to flip-flop Jon Lester and Jose Quintana in the rotation, which means Quintana will start Friday on normal rest, and Lester will start Saturday with a couple extra days of rest. Lester, you’ll recall, had a bit of a back issue a couple starts ago, though he came back to dominate this weekend.
  • Some pictures are just begging for a caption:

Caption this.

Posted by Bleacher Nation on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

  • This dad, embarrassing his daughter last night at the Cubs game, is extremely my brand (sorry kids):

  • META: You’ll notice a new feature at the site that displays recent and/or featured posts in a rotation. You will also notice that the posts are currently not from the correct time (we’re working out the kinks). Thanks for your patience on that front.
  • Meanwhile, over in the Bears world, plenty of love going out for the defense – and it isn’t even Khalil Mack:

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.