To find the last time the Cubs had a winning stretch from Monday-Sunday, you have to go back to the month of Ma ... er, Apr ... um (flips calendar) ... 2010. That's right, the Cubs had not surpassed .500 in a week this entire season until just this last week. Strangely, it took a week featuring a four-game set against first-place Milwaukee and a weekend matchup with the powerful and surging Yankees for them to do it.
Obviously the Cubs aren't going to make a real run this season. If I'm not mistaken, I believe it's MLB rule 22.1.b which states that any team trailing the Pirates by six games in mid-June is disallowed from postseason play. And yes, that's what really matters each season, no doubt. But with that said, I'm ecstatic to see the Cubs playing a better brand of baseball. They made several nice defensive plays this week, came up with some big homers and clutch hits, and got solid if not spectacular pitching. Simply put, it was a team worth watching, and that's a description that could not have been applied to the Cubs over the previous two months.
How do we order up another week of the team we just saw? Is there a button on the remote? Do I have to call the cable company? I'll look into this and let you know what I find out.
Ryno of the Week: I love it when a player makes this easy on me. This week it was Starlin Castro, who went 13-for-29 with six runs and seven RBI. His .315 average is fifth in the NL. Later this week, I'll have more on the unbelievable start to Castro's career.
Honorable mention: With apologies to Ryan Dempster, I'm going to go with Doug Davis, in part because his phenomenal start against the Yankees was so damn unexpected. It wasn't just his first win this season, it was the first time the Cubs had won when he took the mound.
Goat of the Week: For a minute it looked like the Cubs had a glut of second base options, but just after I got done praising Blake DeWitt, he went into a 3-for-18 funk this week to drop his average to .263.
Dishonorable mention: John Grabow, who made three appearances and allowed at least one earned run in two of them, bringing his ERA at 5.04. Remember when the Cubs signed him to a two-year, $7.5 million deal after the 2009 season, figuring they had locked up a quality left-handed setup man? Remember when he didn't suck?