OSS: 5-1 against the Padres ain’t too shabby…I guess the Cubs are good again.
- With several regulars out for scheduled days off or fighting nagging injuries, the backups had yet another big day. Sergio Alcantara hit his first Cubs homer, and Patrick Wisdom had the Cubs highest WPA play of the day when he singled off Darvish in the seventh to put runners on first and third with no outs in a tie ballgame. Somehow this team keeps finding ways to win. The Hope Monster must be feeling quite welcome after his long vacation.
- Unlike his shaky outing last week, in which we later found out that he was suffering from food poisoning, Jake looked pretty sharp today. His final line was 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K. More innings would be great but at least he was locating. Food poisoning aside I still expect about one stinker in three from Arrieta but he stepped it up against the guy he more or less replaced.
- The bullpen had yet another solid outing against a great lineup, striking out five with no hits or walks in four innings of relief. After years of indifferent play at best it’s odd to see a Cubs bullpen being the strength of the team.
- Darvish is a tough cookie, but it felt like the Cubs should have dinged him up for a lot more in the seventh. They got the go ahead run, but double play runs are rarely what you want to see. Amusingly enough the play in which the Cubs took the lead was the third worst play of the game by win expectancy.
- Small sample size, blah blah blah but PJ Higgins has looked pretty bad both at and behind the plate so far. It’s not a surprise that Willson has caught the most innings in the majors this year. I don’t think Romine looked so sharp either before he got hurt. But if we’re complaining about backup catcher production I guess the team is in pretty good shape (dying laughing).
- Bullet number three here is Jake pitching at all in his last start when he had food poisoning. Pitching through it is one thing, but something makes me think that teams are trying to be extra cautious with health-related things right now for some reason….
The Cubs have their first off-day in nearly three weeks, then face the Cardinals at 1:20 PM on Friday.