Seems pretty simple, when you get quality starts you’ll get wins. The Cubs have gotten six of them in a row. They’ve won five. Arguably should have won all six, but it would be truly petty and desperate to complain too much about a 5-1 homestand so far. This isn’t rocket science. Throw in a Kris Bryant binge, and suddenly things are starting to look as they should. Though with a couple glitches, so it’s your parents’ perfect night out. The food is great, and the service just good enough to allow them to complain.
Let’s run it through.
The Two Obs
-Hard to decide on the headline, but let’s go with Yu Darvish, who has yet to give up a run in two post All-Star starts and has only walked one in 12 innings. Today, Darvish was fastball heavy. It says he only threw 30 four-seam and 16 two-seam, but considering the latter was averaging nearly 95 MPH, I think they’re all just four-seamers. He also piled in 26 cutters, so it was a power outing. His last pitch was 98, which on a hot day is something. Combine them all and he threw 61% of them for strikes today, which goes along with his quotes after his last start about finally feeling like he has command of his fastball and doesn’t just have to rely on his cutter to get strikes. You’re seeing a variance in Darvish’s approach now, as he was slider heavy against the Pirates. But when he has command of it all, he can do that in any way he wants. Hopefully this is the start of something big, and as his next start will come against the decidedly punchless Giants (though more so now)…well, let’s just hope.
-Cishek has a 2.83 ERA, and I’m convinced this is a government lie. Every time I look up it feels like he’s giving up a run, even if it isn’t always his. He’s giving up homers on fly balls 50% more than last year, though everyone seems to be doing that now. I still worry about the amount of appearances this year and last, and this pen never lets you rest, does it?
Of course, backing him up with Rosario and Brach was never going to work out, was it? I can’t believe I’m asking for Edwards to hurry.
-At this point, we have to guess there’s something physical with Rizzo. He hasn’t homered in over a month, and he has 10 doubles over the last six weeks or so. He just doesn’t seem to have the pop. To be fair to him, his hard contact and line drives are much higher in July than they were in June, so maybe whatever it was has passed and he’s just trying to find the swing again. The Cubs are a Rizzo binge alongside the Bryant binge from like a 12-game winning streak.
-I don’t need Albert Almora Jr. to hit. He’s good enough in the field and the Cubs should have enough other hitters to just take his defense and run. I do need him to keep his head in the game. It didn’t end up mattering last night, but once again him not running after a drop third is a sign of a player not locked in, and this is what the Cubs were trying to address in the offseason. It has to stop.
-Looks like I motherfucked Alec Mills into a quality start, which is probably my biggest accomplishment of the season.
-Heyward seems to have a new knack for big hits, huh?