Is This Real?--Cubs 7 Cleveland 2

Is there a spoon?

I mean I could write about how the Cubs got yet another quality start from their starting pitcher. Kyle Hendricks matched Jon Lester tonight. Or I could write about how once again the Cubs lineup battered an opposing starting pitcher. Tonight it wasn't some dude pressed into starting, but a very good Carlos Carrasco that couldn't make it five innings. The Cubs bats frequently do well in Ohio, but it seems like homecomings for Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ that highlight the night. Today it was the top of the order breaking out with both Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo crushing bombs.

Either way, the Cubs are on a roll that is positively 2016-like and the only meaningful question at this point is whether this is real or timing every team's hot streak with the start of the year?

WPA CHART


Source: FanGraphs

Kyle Hendricks matched Jon Lester's score line from last night pitching six innings of one run ball. He got there a slightly different way. The Cleveland squad was able to put a runner in every inning except the third inning, but the Professor was rarely in trouble. Cleveland only had runners in scoring position in the first and fifth inning. The lone tally Hendricks gave up occurred in the fifth inning. Tyler Naquin and Sandy Leon hit back to back singles to lead off the frame. Bradley Zimmer struck out looking before the bases were loaded on Cesar Hernandez's single. Jose Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly to put Cleveland on the board, but a Francisco Lindor ground out ended the threat.

The Cubs however had built a solid lead by that point in the game. Anthony Rizzo hit a laser beam shot to lead off the third inning. The Cubs added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning. Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez hit back to back singles to lead off that inning. Carrasco struck out Willson Contreras before being yanked for Oliver Perez. Ian Happ was walked intentionally to load the bases. Jason Heyward hit a sacrifice fly to double the Cubs lead. David Bote singled to drive in a pair but he was tossed out trying to stretch a single to end the inning.

The Cubs entered the sixth inning leading 4-1. Kris Bryant's two out blast made it a 5-1 score. Dan Winkler was given the seventh inning. He was able to retire two Cleveland batters but also walked a pair. Rowan Wick was summoned to calm things, but Lindor singled back up the middle to cut the lead to 5-2. Wick would retire the next four Cleveland batters.

The Cubs added tallies in the eighth and ninth innings. Jason Kipnis hit a ground rule double to drive in Jason Heyward in the eighth inning. Jason Heyward hit a double to score Ian Happ as the bottom of the Cubs order continues to do damage. Jeremy Jeffress pitched a clean ninth as the Cubs stretched their NL Central leading record to 12-3. For those keeping track at home that is a better record than the 2016 version had 15 games into the season.

Random Reference

But right now I don't really care if this is real or not because it was another game for Milos...I mean the Cubs.

Comments

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  • If this was a real season, And everything about a real season was actually happening, I say yes this is really happening.

    This season will never be respected. But our Cubs are playing better then they ever played under Joel Maddon. Please don’t attack me because I love Joe.

    The world is a crazy place right now and it’s only appropriate that the Cubs are the best in baseball team in the league right now.

    I’m loving every moment of this. I only hope in the end it means something that baseball will value.

  • In reply to Skidoorunner:

    Of course it will mean something if the Cubs keep winning.

    In 1999, the NBA only played 50 of 82 games because of a strike. But when people talk about the Spurs winning the title, nobody cares that it was a shortened regular season.

    Same thing with the NFL in 1982, they only played 9 of 16 games. There is no asterisk next to the Redskins' name among Super Bowl Champions.

    People may whine and complain now that is wasn't a "real" season, but in a few years, it won't even be brought up.

  • In reply to Bullsville:

    I'm a life long Cub fan but no one will ever call this a "real" season. Not when you're barely playing more than a third of the games. Not when you're chief rival is debilitated by health issues. I DO think it will be the year that everyone discovers the leadership genius of David Ross!

  • In reply to Ronson54:

    Sorry to burst your bubble but of course it is a real season. What is happening is not our collective imagination. Not normal but real.

  • In reply to John57:

    I agree John. Real season, just as all the others. Different? Yes, very much so. But I am finding it to be really exciting and I am very much into the tradition of baseball and think the DH should never come to the NL, and hated the idea of runner on 2nd in extra innings. Although I fully understand how those changes will help them get through this season. As I've watched most of the Cubs games this season and about a half dozen other games that interested me, I have come to really enjoy the runner on 2nd in extras. I'm open to that becoming part of the game, although maybe better not to initiate it until the 11th inning. I'll be honest, I don't even mind the DH that I thought was blasphemy. Look how that aspect has changed the Cubs lineup. The 7 inning double header I fully understand it's need to get through this shortened season, but that better never become a real thing in the future.

    One thing is apparent about the 2020 Cubs. This team is a legitimate contender. They have such good energy when they play, and there is a true team concept happening with their offense. They pick each other up; they aren't trying to do too much. They are wearing down the opposing starting pitchers just like we used to see in 2016. The truth is, none of our best offensive players have truly even began to click yet. When they do, watch out!

    About the energy. The players are 100% engaged in the game and are the fans of their teammate in the batters box. How many times have you guys noticed a big scream from someone in the dugout when someone hits a bomb? Like right when the ball comes off the bat. It's happening a lot, and when there's a big hit, you hear their dugout erupt and it sits out on top of the canned "fan noise." I have not experienced hearing that in any of the other games I've been watching. This team is special, and they are playing with purpose, and having a lot of fun in the process. I think much of that can be credited to David Ross.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    There is definitely a different vibe to this year's squad, and with so many of the same players that have been with the team for several years now, it's not hyperbole to suggest it is the result of Boss Ross. That's not to bash Maddon, it's just clear to me the players began tuning him out and a fresh voice was needed. There were far too many fundamental mistakes and mental gaffes that were being overlooked, with no accountability. Those misplays were becoming accepted, and contagious.

    Last season, the Cubs ran into the most outs on the basepaths in baseball. Contreras was a runaway train (still is; not everyone is Javy, Willson), and Rizzo often looked unprepared/inattentive. The defense committed 118 errors in 162 games and has tightened way up this season. We've allowed 1 earned run through the 1st 15 games, as opposed to 11 in the same time frame last year.
    Those outs we don't give away and the unnecessary runs not added to the opponents score go a long way in the W/L column.

    As you say, Cubber, many of the known producers in this lineup have yet to hit their stride. When that happens, it's going to be even more fun!

  • In reply to John57:

    Naw. There will be too many naysayers debunking everything from "awards" to the legitimacy of a "champion". No "of course" about it. It'll always be looked at as an anomaly.

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    oh hum, another starter going at least 6 inn and not allowing more than 2 runs, and the BP was very good. There is not much to complain about, much too praise though.
    For anyone asking--yes, of course you may!

  • It’s real and it’s spectacular

  • In reply to dp22:

    Yes, they are!

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    It looks like a coach tested positive with the StL Cardinals so the Friday game with the Sox has been postponed. They've only played 5 games (the Cubs have played 15.) There has to be a number or date where they simply won't be able to make up these games. How many games will be the minimum played in order to have the season count? We've (The Cubs)have already played over 15% of the games.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Seems to me that the Cards need to phone it in. Reds are 13 games played above the cards. Not sure how long MLB can let the cards sit and wait. Last I heard MLB was looking for 3 straight days of negative tests. If that holds, the cards can’t play again until Monday vs the cubs and 17 less games than the reds. Bury the 30 man squad and bring up the backup 30 and get it going.

  • In reply to stix:

    Couldn't agree more.......

  • Somebody kindly fill me in on the details as to why Lester isn’t 3-0.......I thought he has had 3 QS’s and left with the lead?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I am not 100% sure, but I’d bet Kimbrel blew a save opportunity and cost him the W even though the Cubs won the game.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    His first game was only 5 innings pitched. I think you need 6 innings for it to be a quality start. And I can't remember for sure but I think it was a scoreless tie when he left that game.

  • In reply to John57:

    I just checked. He left the second game after 6 innings with the score tied 1-1. He didn't get the win but he has been pitching wonderfully this year.

  • In reply to John57:

    Thanks

  • Gave ya the thumbs up emoji too but they don’t post

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