Whereas last night was a pretty stout display of the raw power of this Cubs machine. today was just an example of the ease and efficiency with which they’ve won most of the games. It didn’t take extraordinary effort, or a host of great plays, or a true display of an offensive juggernaut. The Cubs jumped on Clemens early, and Hendricks held the Padres off just enough before turning it over to the pen as the Cubs extended the lead just enough to never really not be comfortable.
Unless you’re really old (I’m sorry, but if you remember the following season that’s just the way things are), the Cubs now have the best record any of us have ever seen. They’re 36 games over, a mark they haven’t reached since 1945. They merely have to go 19-17 to finish with 100 wins. While the last couple weeks will probably see goofy lineups and goofy choices in the pen to save bullets for the playoffs, it would be an upset if they can’t manage that. It kind of gets my fingers tingling merely typing that.
-I know that the Cubs optimum lineup has Baez at second and Zobrist in left, and with the way Zobrist starting to hit line drives all over the field again that no one could complain. But man I’ve enjoyed watching Soler hit of late. He would have no call to be in the lineup over Zobrist but… well, I irrationally hope he finds a way.
-Hendricks wasn’t as sharp as he’s been but the Padres only had hitters at the very top of the lineup that could make him pay for that. 17 games without giving up more than three runs. You’d think, even with the Cubs ridiculous defense, that he’d just get BABIP’d one of these days. I just guaranteed it’ll happen in October, didn’t I?
-The past two months Justin Grimm’s WHIP is 0.57, with a 8.5-to-1 K/BB rate. Please keep telling me how the pen is a problem, especially when the staff basically dictates they have to get six outs every game.
-Addison Russell didn’t homer so clearly it’s time for a return trip to Iowa.
-Since I worried about Contreras only hitting grounders at the end of July he’s slugging .500 in August. Don’t say I don’t have an effect.