#Cubs Arrieta vs. Nats in finale

Jake Arrieta will close the Cubs series against the Nationals on Sunday at Wrigley Field. At 23-6, the Cubs are off to their best start through 29 games since the team was 24-5 to start the 1907 season. This is the best start for any NL team since the 1977 Dodgers went 23-6 to begin the year.

The Cubs have outscored their opponents this season by 101 runs (180-79), the best run differential in the Majors. Since 1900, it’s the second-highest run differential by any Major League team through 29 games.

The Cubs have won Jake Arrieta’s last 19 starts, extending a franchise record that surpassed 17-straight by Ed Reulbach (1906-07) and Pat Luby (1890-91). Only five pitchers since 1913 have had their teams win 20-consecutive starts made by them: Philadelphia’s Lefty Grove in 1931 (21-straight team wins), the New York Giants Carl Hubbell in 1936-37 (22), the Yankees Whitey Ford in 1950-53 (22), the Yankees Roger Clemens in 2001 (20) and Atlanta’s Kris Medlen in 2010-12 (23). Thanks to STATS Inc. for the info.

Here’s Sunday’s lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Soler LF

Russell SS

Federowicz C

Arrieta P

 

15 Comments

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Very impressive by Arrieta and the Cubs,considering the other names involved, he is in a very select class,showing how well the Cubs have been playing lately and how well Arrieta has been pitching.Happy Mothers day to all and lets not forget,Go Cubs!

This team is so much fun to follow — after all those disappointing decades. One guy gets hurt, and another comes in off the bench and plays like an all-star! Just don’t see any weaknesses, except maybe the early bullpen guys (?) Hey, Chicago, whaddya say…

Aloha Bruce and Kenly, I sure hope the team gets the chance to win it in the 12th. I did not think it was a good call with only out to send Heyward home, when you had Rizzo/Zobrist coming up. It would have been man on 2nd/3rd one out. Heyward was out by a lot. let’s hope for the best. Mahalo!

Aloha Kenly & Bruce- my wife was getting on me a little to cut some “slack.” After I posted the first comment I thought about it. I am sure it was hard for the 3rd base coach to see “everything,” and made the best call he could. Watching it on tv, I could see Heyward waited to make sure that Bryant’s hit would land (not be caught), so because of this I thought for sure Heyward would be stopped at 3rd. He was thrown out easily at home plate (two throws). I do not think this was one of the best played games and even though the BP did keep the Nats from scoring anymore runs, there were a lot of tense moments as pitchers were walking folks or hitting batters. So, I am sure Joe will go over these areas before the next series starts on Tuesday. Did you hear the interview with Baez after the game? He was asked which position he liked the most and said 3rd! Bryant is good in that he is flexible. I think if there is more Bryant in LF, Soler becomes easier to trade. Of course I do not want this to happen but if Joe keeps going to Bryant/Kalish and Szczur when he returns, there will not be too many opportunities for Jorge. I have to remind myself how fortunate it is to be a fan right now and to just enjoy this. Take care now. Mahalo!

I assume we`ll be accused of nitpicking, k.g., but have to agree that it was ill-advised to send Heyward with less than two outs. I did not have the advantage of television and listened to just a fraction of the game via radio, but I assume we are referencing third base coach Jones. He has a reputation for being aggressive, and Joe must be okay with that, or Jones would have been replaced by now. Fans will recall a game last season versus the Cards, when Anthony was sent by Jones in a similar situation, and ironically, it was Heyward who cut down Rizzo at the plate with an outstanding throw. I recall folks on here who were more than critical of Jones` decision at that time. Pat and Ron were in error when they described that play yesterday. They credited Revere for making the initial throw to Espinosa. But they overlooked the fact that, by this time, Revere had moved to left, and Taylor was now playing centerfield. It was Taylor who made that excellent relay throw to Espinosa. Pat and Ron finally corrected themselves, but it was several minutes afterward before doing so. Those broadcasters must have the very best views of the field, I would think, and if they do not, they should. Revere and Taylor do not look alike, and I`m certain each wears a different number on his uniform. (In other words, I do not get how that mistake gets made.) Others may accuse me of being a stickler, but I`m sorry, this is fundamental to me. Also, in the twelveth inning, you`ll recall Ben led off with a walk. I thought Rossy should have been asked to sacrifice, given he`s an excellent bunter and not known for his bat. It would have placed Zobrist at second with just one out and we`d have two opportunities to score him with singles. I give David credit for extending his at bat versus Papelbon, and hanging tough, but he eventually flied to right, and Ben was not advanced. Bottom line, the Cubs won, and it`s all good. We just swept in seven games two of the best clubs in the game. Let`s not have a letdown now that we face the Friars, a team which has struggled mightily thus far in this young 2016 season.

I meant to add that “Span the Man” has been on the DL for a long spell, but that`s just one of a laundry list of reasons why the Padres have underachieved. There are a multitude of observations one can make of Sunday`s game. The Cubs gave Harper too much respect, in my view. He`s not Babe Ruth yet. I love the quote attributed to Anthony Rizzo which appeared in today`s “USA Today” regarding Harper and himself, ” Honestly, we ran out of things to talk about.”

Aloha jhosk! LOL about Rizzo and Harper running out of things to chat about! By the way, you reminded me of that call last year that Jones made in trying to bring Rizzo home and it was Heyward that threw him out. Yesterday was not the best played game but as you said because things are going their way and they hung in there, they won. That happens for good team and thank goodness the Cubs are one of those. I am happy to see that a double-header will be played on Wednesday because these rain-outs are adding up; so good decision to make it up soon. Watched the Red/Pirates game tonight and found myself hoping for the Reds to win, well they did but in the end the Cubs will have to do it themselves and I believe they can. Take care now. Mahalo!

Speaking of Harper, k.g., he dsplayed some ugly behavior last night in D.C. when the Nats played Detroit, another team which is struggling. Bryce was tossed from the game for hurling insults at the plate umpire from the dugout, and when the game ended, he came out onto the field and very near to home plate and cursed at the same arbiter. Look for Bryce to be fined by MLB, but I doubt he will care. This dude is selfish, and a poor role model for youngsters. (Also, during that same game on ESPN, Carlos Zambrano, a former Cub whom we discussed just days ago on this blog, was interviewed at length in the broadcast booth.

Aloha jhosk, that is too bad to hear about Harper, such a gifted player. I hope he can mature and have a nice career. I have said it many times how much I love Addison’s conduct and demeaner. He is a good ambassador for the game as well as many others on this Cubs team. Take caRe now! Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk- not sure if you are listening or watching this game? Another team that is not playing well; playing well against the Cubs. I have been concerned with the BP of late, Grimm has had issues and unfortunately for Warren, he gave up a grand-slam but I believe all the runs are charged to Grimm except for the hitter; game is 8-7. Baez had a bad error in I believe the 7th but thank goodness they got out of it. So, I think the team has to work on staying mentally strong and now worry about who their opponent is but rather just go out and play good baseball all the time. Kudo’s to Zobrist and Addison! Hope they can finish this game out with a W. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., I heard via my car radio that a pinch hitter for the Friars clouted a grand slam to make it a one run contest in the top 8th. Let`s hope we can hang on. More importantly, you mention Addison and Zobrist as examples of solid players. Each has character and we can name several other Cubs who warrant that praise. Bryce Harper is precocious in that his physical maturity is impressive at such a young age. But Bryce`s psychological maturity has not kept pace. He is 23, I`m told, but his mental maturity is that of one far below that age. I suggest he`s a prime example of “arrested development.” He needs much time to grow in a particular department. Bryce has an overinflated opinion of himself, something he has in common with his agent, Scott Boras. When teams pay him extraordinary respect by refusing to pitch to him, as we saw recently, that encourages and feeds his superior attitude. Bottom line, Bryce Harper disrespects the game you and I love. I trust he`ll mature one day and see the error of his past ways, but he`s not close to being there yet.

Aloha jhosk- you called it, Harper got a 1-game suspension. In regard to Strop, I think they are keeping a close eye on him. I will also say that the Cubs have not played well against teams like the Braves and now the Padres, so I am sure that Maddon will take this up with the team because they seemed to be pumped up against the Pirates and Nationals, then let down against the Padres. In regard to Soler; as you know I have been one of his biggest supporters but I also understand that this is a business and his job is to produce. He is not entitled to anything, he has to earn it. He is getting paid close to $4mil dollars this year. Many of his other team mates with the same amount of major league experience are getting a lot less. Some of this has to do with securing a player out of Cuba. I was all for an outfield of Schwarber/Szczur-Heyward-Soler, no Fowler during the off-season. But Szczur/Baez/Zobrist/Bryant all play better defense in either Left or Right Field at this time. So then, one has to produce at the plate. Today in 8 ab’s Soler went 1-8 with 4 strikeouts. That is not good and he had chances to have clutch hits like Addison/Szczur/LaStella/Zobrist have time and time again and did not produce. So, I have not given up on him and I am sure Maddon and the FO have not either but he has to make some drastic mental and mechanical adjustments at the plate as well as in the field because right now there are many players in the farm system who would love a spot on this team/in the majors. I am hoping for the best. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., I wonder if fans recall Joe Maddon suggesting a long while ago that Jorge had the potential to be “a Vlad Guerrero with plate discipline.” You won`t see anyone making those comparisons these days. He`s regressed. One of those ab`s in the second game yesterday in which he fanned, the baseball appeared to be in the catcher`s mitt when Jorge decided to swing and miss for the third strike.

As for Harper, he`s challenging the one game suspension and will continue to play until his protest is heard. This guy is incapable of accepting guilt for anything or accepting blame for a mistake. Reminds one of that demagogue, misoganist, and bigot who`s running for the presidency.

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