Seven Wins in a Row, Playoff Odds Way Up, Chatwood, Grand Slams, and Other Bullets

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Seven Wins in a Row, Playoff Odds Way Up, Chatwood, Grand Slams, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I’d been extremely unimpressed by the last couple episodes of ‘Game of Thrones,’ contrary to a lot of other folks, and then I thought last night’s was actually pretty solid. I saw none of the reaction about it, because I had to wait to watch it until after the Cubs game, which meant I finished around midnight my time, and I went straight to bed, figuring most people felt the same. Turns out, people really hated that one. I don’t really think of myself as a contrarian, but I guess I am now when it comes to GOT. (Note that I do agree, without spoilers, that there were a few very problematic parts.)

  • With the Cubs winning seven in a row, sweeping the Cardinals, and sliding into first place, there was a wave of articles about the Cubs’ early-season turnaround here, here, here, and here, among other places, I’m sure. Joe Maddon got into his sense of how the Cubs are doing what they’re doing after the game:

  • The Cubs didn’t just pull into first place in the NL Central last night – they also pulled into first place, kinda, in all of baseball:

  • The Cubs are a very nice 19-12 at the 31 game mark, but by Base Runs, they “should” actually be a game better, at 20-11. The Cubs have earned their results so far, and it’s showing up in some very improved playoff odds:

Check out this beauty of a chart:

  • Tyler Chatwood gave up two homers last night and three runs, though without a rare Jason Heyward error in the outfield, it’s very possible a double play ends that inning before any of that happens. In any case, you don’t want to give up homers at any time, but when it’s 13-2, you’re in there to throw strikes. That’s what Chatwood did (at 96-98 mph!), throwing 16 of 25 pitches in the zone, and I liked it. His numbers this year aren’t good, but I’m telling you, I have liked what I’ve seen from him virtually every time he takes the mound. The command has improved dramatically, and some of the stuff is playing up considerably in relief. I think he’s going to be a useful arm for the Cubs in the final 1.8 years of his deal.
  • Oh, also, both of those homers were kinda crap, as far as homers go: Marcell Ozuna’s went 383 feet, which is solid but based on the exit velo and launch angle, was actually only a hit 49% of the time; Paul DeJong’s was a pop fly that is an out 84% of the time. Heck, Matt Carpenter’s single is only a hit 31% of the time! (Also, he struck out Ozuna on a pitch clearly in the zone before the homer.)
  • Fun fact about this weekend’s grand slams:

  • Don’t try to be Tarik:

  • It’s not baseball or even football (well, American football anyway), but I was just so impressed by this that I wanted to share:

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.