Now Do It Again
Starting pitching, hitting, defense. Just another example of what a good team can do when they put it all together. It feels like every other day I have been saying “that’s the game that turned the season around” only to see a different team take the field the following day.
Early on the game had that classic 2017 ominous feeling. Two runs in the 2nd that coulda/shoulda been more. A Marcel Ozuna homer to lead off the bottom half of a needed shutdown inning. A 3rd inning rally killed by an all around unusual and unlucky 5-3 double play. All this had me convinced that something big would surely follow in the bottom half. Luckily, Jake was on, and he did it without much help from the strikeout. The Cubs’ right-hander kept a potent Marlins lineup quiet. Still down from ace form, his fastball velocity was low 90’s without much, if anything, harder than 92 mph. But the stuff and control were enough for 7 quality from Arrieta.
After an eerie first couple, the offense exploded with 9 more runs and 16 total hits. Kris Bryant‘s 4th inning 3-run homer was the spark, and they kept on the gas until the 9th. Addison Russell and Ian Happ were in the middle of it all, literally. The night’s respective 4 and 5 hitters combined for eight hits, four runs, and four RBIs.
So many positives, yet the season to date has me unable to fully enjoy individual wins like I should. Instead I find myself worried and hoping that tomorrow they can put it all, or most of it, or even just enough of it together. Four of the last five is surely an encouraging sign. The Cubs end the day two games above the .500 mark. A sweep of the remaining three games in Miami puts the team five over, which plays into a theory I have heard manager Joe Maddon empathize before. From my understanding, he takes the season in five game sprints. That is, start with a goal of five over .500, collect yourself and shoot for 1o, 15 and so on. The talent I see on the field will continue to drown out the doubts I have due to their inconsistent play. It’s nothing you haven’t been hearing all season; It’s a long season, and we have the most winnable division.
This time, like all the other 36 times I have said it this season, I know they’re gonna flip the switch. Hold on tight, folks.