The Cubs Keep Winning, the Pitching Keeps Rocking, the Need Keeps Appearing, and Other Cubs Bullets

The Littlest Girl’s birthday was last week, but the birthday party is today. Plus the big kids have their usual Saturday activities. Plus we have family coming into town. Suffice to say, I’m behind the 8-ball already, and I’m hustling here.

  • After their win last night, their fourth in a row, the Cubs are 32-28 in their last 60. That’s a .533 clip, or a little over an 86-win pace. That’s with a stripped down bullpen, a roster that wasn’t built up significantly in the offseason, and a team that has dealt with a boatload of injuries to key players. There’s some luck in there, yes. There’s some projectability that you couldn’t carry over into a future season. But when we talk about the Cubs thinking they might be close to competing if they make a few key additions this offseason, I feel like it should be pretty easy to see that an on-paper 85 to 88-win team in Spring Training is not that hard to accomplish.
  • Feel like the Cubs have been tossing up some great pitching results lately? Well, they have:
  • Note that Brad’s looking at the entire second half (when the Cubs have a winning record), not just the last few weeks. Moreover, despite what your first guess might be, it isn’t the case that the Cubs have only been playing cupcakes in the second half. Lately? Yes. But since the start of the second half? The majority of teams the Cubs have faced have, when playing the Cubs, still had a playoff spot (or playoff positioning) on the line. In other words, it hasn’t been a disproportionately weak or strong schedule – maybe on the slightly soft side as I eyeball it, but not glaringly so.
  • To that end, some thoughts from Bryan on the state of pitching in the organization (with one note from me being that Smyly’s option is a mutual option, so a separate deal would likely have to be worked out for him to actually be retained):
  • And that conclusion is the right conclusion. The biggest pitching need for the Cubs. The Cubs need to add a true, front-of-the-rotation impact guy this offseason, because it ALL makes sense on the pitching side if you just slot that guy in. But, as Bryan rightly notes, it’s very hard to get that guy. That, in turn, is why I remain very open to the Cubs taking on a lot of risk in that kind of signing or trade – it might be the only way to actually get an ace.
  • I missed this at the time, but it does seem rather Ump Show-y:
  • The at-issue pitch, for what it’s worth, just nicked the bottom of the zone, according to Statcast. It was a curveball breaking down, though, so you could see how Wisdom might perceive it differently. And if he’s walking away and just saying something … let the man say something. If he does it again, or gets in your face, that’s a different story.
  • Heads up, friends:
  • Marcus Stroman is writing a series of books for kids:
  • I know this is David Ross doing an ad, but this does look beautiful, with some familiar faces:
  • A reminder that if you’re looking for sports betting promo codes – Illinois or otherwise – we have a section where you can find them for weekends like this.
  • Great memory:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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