I had the opportunity last summer to see Jake Arrieta and the Cubs face off in DC against Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals. Arrieta was coming off his incredible performance in Boston five days prior where he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning at Fenway Park, so I expected the game to be a pitcher’s duel.
I sat about 13 rows behind the visitor’s dugout on the third base side at Nationals Park, the photographer in me eager to take some pictures of my beloved Cubs. As the game progressed, I quickly realized the only photos I would be getting of the Cubs were when they ran in and out of the dugout. Why? Because the few base runners they had throughout the game couldn’t make it past third base to the team’s almost nonexistent offense.
We all remember last season; it was another painful year of Cubs baseball. Zimmermann and the Nationals were just one of many teams the Cubs struggled against because they couldn’t create any momentum with their bats. Forget about that gem of a game your pitcher just tossed when your team can’t take a pitch or even make contact with the ball.
Although we’re only about seven weeks into the 2015 season, the Cubs certainly seem to have left their offensive woes in the past. Their lineup is powerful, consistently getting on base whether it be from walks or hits. Anthony Rizzo currently leads the team in batting average with .320, followed by Kris Bryant’s .283 and Miguel Montero’s .280. Not too shabby, right?
And let’s not forget others like Starlin Castro or Dexter Fowler. You could literally name pretty much the entire team when it comes to batting because almost everyone has made a significant contribution this year. We are finally seeing a real team effort from the Cubs. Sure, Rizzo and Bryant are probably the biggest names when it comes to batting, but they certainly aren’t carrying this team alone.
It was such a shame last year that we had such incredible pitching from Arrieta, only to go to waste by silent bats. Somehow I don’t think that will be a problem this year.