Cubs Home Run Records Falling, Cishek's Save, Great Teammates, Garcia Breakout, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Home Run Records Falling, Cishek’s Save, Great Teammates, Garcia Breakout, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have an off-day today for what feels like the first time in a long time. It’s probably really good timing, given the dings to Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, the struggles in the rotation, and unsettled bullpen.

  • The Cubs managed to avoid a sweep in Houston, doing so on the strength of a dominant Kyle Hendricks performance (more on that later), and two more home runs. Seems like a lot of home runs lately, right? Well it is! A record amount! Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant’s homers added to the Cubs’ record volume of homers for a single month in any season – 51. And there are two days left in the month, and one of them is an off-day!
  • They also have a team record five players in double digit home runs at the 1/3 mark in the season (Cubs.com). Anthony Rizzo leads the team with 15, Javy Baez and Kris Bryant have 13, Willson Contreras has 12, and Kyle Schwarber now has 10. I know the ball is flying this year, but it’s not like Wrigley Field was especially homer-friendly for most of the first two months of the season. (Speaking of which, holy crap does the ball fly in that weird park in Houston, man. Many of those homers – both sides – just did not seem remotely like home runs off the bat, and even after you examined the data.)
  • Hey, how about these guys:

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
  • How about a 1-2-3 9th inning save for Steve Cishek last night in a one-run game? Feels crazy at this point:

  • Yes, that was obviously a wide strike there at the end, but the zone was a mess all night (CB Bucknor). It burned the Cubs many times, so if they got a break on that particular one, cool.
  • It’s not like Kris Bryant is small, but yeah, I’m taking Jason Heyward:

  • Jason Heyward is a great teammate, of course, as he showed last night. So is Kyle Schwarber:

  • Iowa Cubs infielder Robel Garcia – the former Indians prospect who disappeared, popped up playing baseball in Italy(!), and the Cubs grabbed in the offseason – keeps on raking:

  • Garcia, 26, is such a wild card – and the ball is flying so much at AAA – that I don’t really think we can say we know much of anything about how he would translate at the big league level, but it’s clear that he is, at a minimum, on the big league radar longer term at this point. The power is holding up, but our biggest question on the jump from AA to AAA was whether veteran pitchers would quickly identify and exploit any existing holes in his swing with the kind of consistency and command you don’t see from AA pitchers. To that end, he’s currently rocking a 37.7% strikeout rate through 77 PAs (up from 23.8% at AA), so I would say that, for now, that concern has been justified. That doesn’t mean he can’t adjust, of course, but it’s a specific question you have about guys in this situation. Without a spate of injuries, I don’t know that he’d see big league action this season, but he might be a guy the Cubs add to the 40-man roster after the season.
  • Bryan got into some more minor league and prospect notes earlier this morning.
  • Michael and Luis hit up their second episode of the Outside the Ivy post-post-game show on NBC:

  • And there is also a new episode of Onto Waveland out this morning:

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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.