I think I dislike this team more when they beat the shit out of opponents now than I do when they lose.
Because that looked effortless. That was a display of what we thought/think is the gulf in class between these two teams. The Brewers, especially after the injuries they’ve had, can’t come close to the starting pitching the Cubs have. We saw that in ways last weekend as well. So they scored five runs, and only three of them off the Cubs trio of Quintana, Hamels, and Darvish.
But the difference is the Cubs offense treated the Brewers starters, except for Gio Gonzalez because of course, as they’re supposed to be treated. And the only difference is that they were at home instead on the road, which you’ll never convinced me should be that big of a factor and is just something weird. The Cubs came into this one game ahead of the Brewers and they’ll leave it four ahead now, which for a team like Milwaukee that has about two starters right now is a little more than it sounds.
Especially today, when the Cubs were happy to just take things to the opposite field and take their walks and get the hits they needed to make this one pretty uncompetitive after the second inning. Hell, they even got good bullpen management today with Chatwood getting the old school save, something we haven’t seen enough of. Fuck, they got seven runs today with no Bryant or Contreras. IT COULD NOT BE ANY SIMPLER, LUANNE!
So why is this so hard? Can’t you do this most of the time? Fuck, even three more weeks of play like this probably wins the division as long as you don’t vomit blood the rest of the year. It just can’t be that complicated.
Anyway, to it…
The Two Obs
-Of course, it can’t all be roses with the Cubs. Contreras’s injury hangs over all, and that looks to be of the three-to-four week variety, maybe more if you want to be safe. We saw this injury make the 2017 season end something of a slog. While Victor Caratini has been serviceable, this is where you fear he’ll be exposed.
It would be easy to rant and rave about the Cubs having three catchers not a week ago, and Maldonado at least gives you the defense. But there’s not much you can do about that now, and Kemp probably gives you the same value. Hell. Taylor Davis can catch the ball at least.
The Cubs could more easily survive if Bryant was healthy, which one day off isn’t going to make him. And now there’s less chance of an IL stay for him to try and get healthy. Rizzo’s four hits today are how you make up for it, Castellanos helps, and Schwarber binge wouldn’t go amiss either.
-I was not a fan of Maddon’s handling of the staff on Saturday, but he got away with it. In the sixth, after the Cubs were never going to get more than five out of Hamels, he sent out David Phelps to deal with the top of the Brewers lineup. It went about as well as you would have thought, though it’s not like Cain crushed his infield single. To me, that’s the big point in the game there, and the thought should be by the time the top of the lineup rolls around again it’s the 9th and Kimbrel is dealing with it anyway, or it’s the 8th and Kintzler is. And to be fair to Phelps, Braun’s RBI single was a piece of shit desperation heave that the other nine times out of ten is an out. Still, I’d rather have Wick or Ryan working through the top of the lineup and then Phelps dealing with the top, and I don’t really care what inning it is.
-Everything Castellanos hits has been a line drive of late.
-Why did it take this long to just let Heyward bat leadoff? I know he’s hated it in the past but he seems amenable now and well, look how it’s going.
-Quite the world when Ian Happ is considered a defensive replacement.