Cubs Pwned the First Half
I can say, with some fair amount of certainty, that very few Cubs fans that read this website have been witness to the outstanding level of play that our beloved Cubbies put up during the first half this season. .600 winning percentage, utter dominance at home, best run differential in the league, best starting staff in the NL, best offense in the NL, and top three in defense and overall pitching. And to all that, we just added an pitcher who could end up being our ace and are due to get back one of our best hitters, who has only played 53% of our games to date.
Gawk in amazement at our statistical dominance after the jump...
|Category||Number||Rank in NL
|Strength of Schedule||.491||6th|
|Home Runs Allowed||98||9th|
|Team Defensive Efficiency||.713||3rd|
|Team Fielding Percentage||.983||8th|
Starting Pitchers (NL Rank by Position)
||Pitching Runs Created
|Zambrano||14(Tied 1st)||36.8(6th)||64 (6th)||2.84(Tied 4th)|
|Lilly||5(Tied 31st)||10.8(69th)||43 (27th)||4.68 (40th)|
|Marquis||3(Tied 50th)||12.0(59th)||34 (47th)||4.44 (34th)|
Relief Pitchers (NL Rank by Position)
Individual Performance (NL Rank by Position)
||Defensive Win Shares
|**Soriano||8(Tied 27th)||1.3(Tied 36th)||15.8(8th)||38(12th)||7||.278(7th)||.332||.547|
* - Not sure which categories account just for DeRosa's time at 2b (53 games played) or his overall numbers at all positions.
** - For all the outfielders, rankings for Win Shares is among ALL
NL Outfielders. Soriano would rank 7th in OBP and 4th in SLG if he
*** - For most cases, Edmonds rankings reflect his time with San
Diego. His Cubs numbers are 269/369/552. That would rank him first in
OBP and SLG, but that's in only 157 plate appearances as a Cub.The
negative 2 RAA2 for his defense though is just as a Cubbie, he had a
postive 2 as a Padre. The only regular Cub that has not been a postive
with the glove so far.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.