That’s a BLOWOUT win for the Cubs, and they start the season 2-0, with wins over the Brewers. That’s pretty cool. Best record in baseball, baby.
Justin Steele was simply as good as you could realistically hope he would be today. He was using all of his pitches, the fastball was exploding late at the top of the zone, he got swings and misses when he needed them, he limited the hard contact, and he issued just one walk over his five scoreless innings. That’s efficient, too – covered the five innings in just 77 pitches, which was almost certainly his cap for the day. A couple nice double plays certainly helped, but he was just good. Flat out good.
Thompson relieved Steele and was just as good (until he got the boot). I’ll have to dig in more on both tomorrow, but they just looked so good.
Ethan Roberts got the 9th in his big league debut, and he was understandably a little wild. But the stuff is inarguably special. A 94 mph cutter? A slider that moves like 30 inches laterally? It’s just silly stuff.
Offensively, I can sum up what the Cubs did this way: the Brewers tried to give the Cubs so many runs today. And the Cubs simply accepted them. That is not something you could always say about the Cubs over the last five years. The pitcher is wild? The Cubs accepted their walks, regardless of the situation. A ball in play means a run? The Cubs put the ball in play with two strikes. Some heads up running on the bases means another run? Yup, did that, too.
That’s how you wind up scoring nine runs on just ten hits, all of them singles except one double. I don’t think we can or should draw far-reaching conclusions based on a couple games, but I sure do like seeing the Cubs score runs in a variety of ways.
How’s this for fun, by the way: