Cubs Make Some Very Specific History (and a Statement) in Sweeping the Mets, Praise for Pitching, Alzolay Returning, and Other Cubs Bullets

Social Navigation


Cubs Make Some Very Specific History (and a Statement) in Sweeping the Mets, Praise for Pitching, Alzolay Returning, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The best is when you really enjoy some particular treat that no one else in your family likes. Because then, if you’ve stashed it in the fridge, there is no risk that you’ll decide you want it some evening, only to find that it was scavenged days earlier. Gonna have me some carrot cake tonight …

  • In the process of sweeping the New York Mets, the Chicago Cubs made a little very-specific history:
  • Basically, teams with records like the Cubs don’t sweep teams with records like the Mets. The question now is how meaningful one series sweep, even in those extreme circumstances, can really be. Baseball is the flukiest of sports when viewed in too small of a sample, and just about anything can happen over a three-game series. Then again, clearly what we just saw does NOT happen very often! I think there is at least some meaning here, and some messaging for the next several months.
  • Having watched the games and considered the circumstances, I think it’s not overly complicated: yes, there’s flukiness involved in a three-gamer like that, and the Mets are struggling right now. The Cubs got some particularly good pitching performances in the series, had some bunts really work out for them, and they took advantage of a pitcher who couldn’t throw strikes last night. But it’s also true – it’s been true! – that these Cubs are not as bad as their record, and that’s a factor in how a team “like this” sweeps a team “like that.”
  • It’s nothing new, as I’ve been saying it going back to May: I think this year’s Cubs team was not good, but I think they were *ALSO* unlucky in their aggregate game outcomes. You can be both things, and I think we’re seeing some positive regression in the luck-based results for the Cubs as the sample of games gets larger (they are still two games “unlucky” by BaseRuns, for what it’s worth). The Cubs don’t have a roster that is set up to win 90+ games, but I think they do have some good and useful players, I think they do put those guys in a position to succeed, and I think they really do look like a team that can win some games in 2023 with the right offseason moves.

Here’s how Drew Smyly and Yan Gomes described it (Cubs.com):

“That was an awesome series for the Cubs,” said Smyly. “Everyone played well. It shows how much young talent that we have — a lot of guys that are capable. At this point of our season, it’s about showing how consistent we can be.”

“I feel like we played good teams really well,” said Gomes. “… This time, we just came in here and we know we are a good ballclub. We can compete with anybody and we are starting to show it.”

  • Also: the Cubs swept the Mets *without* Willson Contreras or Nico Hoerner.
  • Kind words from the ever-thoughtful Francisco Lindor (Cubs.com): “It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side. We can’t take it for granted,” Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “We’ve got to respect our opponent. Hats off to the Cubs. They came in. They played well. They executed. They pitched well. They hit with people on base. They walked. They played better than us. So hats off to them.”
  • Big ups for starters Javier Assad, Adrian Sampson, and Drew Smyly, all of whom threw exceedingly well in this series, and all of whom underscore a lot of what the Cubs can do very right at the moment with their pitching infrastructure. Also, praise for the bullpen, which covered 10.0 innings in the series and allowed just three runs.
  • cc All the Good Free Agents:
  • I mean, if the Cubs can sweep the Mets in New York WITHOUT those top free agents, just imagine what they could do WITH them. They could double-sweep the Mets or something!
  • More on this soon, because the Cubs will have to figure out the roster impact, but Adbert Alzolay will finally be returning this weekend:
  • How do you do this and still throw a commanded strike:
  • This is just my nightmare in a single video. Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright being lauded for starting the most games together, while Christian Yelich is there being classy and giving them the moment:
  • Meanwhile, Albert Pujols made his own history in the game:
  • Very deserved:


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.