Series Wrap – Cubs Take Two Of Three From Pirates: And There Was Much Rejoicing

A series win. A very good start. These things were late to the party for the Cubs this season, but they’re here now. And while most of Cubdom seems intent on bending and turning and balancing to tear down the wins, the Cubs put up 10 runs on a very good starter in Jameson Taillon, survived what is a pretty good Pirates staff for two wins. If you thought they were going to get all the games back to .500 at once, I hate to explain how things work. It’s a process.

Let’s clean it up.

The Two Obs

-Jose Quintana said he wanted to use his change-up more. We didn’t see that in Milwaukee, partly because he wasn’t around long enough and when he was he was mostly turning around to look in the distance. He threw 13 of them tonight, which was more than 10% of his offerings, he got six swings and four whiffs from it. Very encouraging. Of course, everything was working tonight. Dotting his fastball, getting the curve over. I suppose the real test is when something isn’t working. But hey, this is a good step.

-The Cubs are averaging over six runs per game and Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, haven’t really done dick. That’s encouraging.

-Kyle Schwarber has struck out in seven of his last eight ABs, which is less than encouraging. He’s getting pelted with breaking pitches, and he’s going over the top of them pretty much every time. That’s fine with lefties, but is less so when it comes from righties as it has the past two nights. But hey, it’s just a stretch of three games. Let’s not go nuts here.

-Len and JD were mentioning on the broadcast how much more Jason Heyward is using his legs in his swing. It’s quite apparent. Maybe that’s a real change.

-Cishek has appeared in half of the Cubs games, so at least we’re still on that pace. He should be dust by Labor Day.

-Something has been made about the Cubs’ pen scoreless streak, but to me it’s kind of horseshit because they did let inherited runners score last night. Earned runs for relievers is always something a bit misleading. And when they took the lead Monday to the wire, they had a touchdown lead at least to work with. Not that that’s stopped them from self-immolating before. Mighty oaks from little acorns, I guess.

-I think Joe Maddon was just cold.


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