Chicago Cubs 2021 season

#403      
S[ W ]eep #32.
cleaning up GIF
 
#404      
I went into this tough stretch in June thinking they’d be in great shape if they went 14-12. Getting off to a 3-0 start is a real nice way to begin.

We’re red hot (9-1 in our last 10). I know 9-1 isn’t sustainable, but I’m having so much trouble reconciling the 1st and 2nd month of the season.

Are we gonna be on the wrong side of one-run games? Or is our bullpen legit and gonna carry us?

Are we gonna regress to an 82-win team or are we legit?

Thoughts @champaignchris ?
 
#405      
We’re red hot (9-1 in our last 10). I know 9-1 isn’t sustainable, but I’m having so much trouble reconciling the 1st and 2nd month of the season.

Are we gonna be on the wrong side of one-run games? Or is our bullpen legit and gonna carry us?

Are we gonna regress to an 82-win team or are we legit?

Thoughts @champaignchris ?

The Cubs are not all that lucky in 1-run games... 12-9, which is actually a worse winning percentage than in the rest of their games. They've exceeded their win expectancy by 1 game, which is probably statistically irrelevant and might even be a little unlucky if you subscribe to the theory that teams with good bullpens should be beating their Pythagorean W-L.

The bullpen is obviously not sustainable. They've carried a sub-1.00 ERA for four weeks. That can't continue at that level, but there's no particular reason to believe it will suddenly become bad.

Patrick Wisdom is most likely not the Cubs' version of Max Muncy, and Tommy Nance is probably not...

Well, I don't even know who to compare him to... I mean the next Kenley Jansen probably didn't spring fully formed from the mind of Jed Hoyer like Athena from Zeus, fall out of the sky, and land in the Cubs' bullpen... Aliens probably didn't remove Dellin Betances' pitching ability and put it into the body of a washed-up Cubs minor leaguer... ...Is it possible there's some poor schmo rehabbing in Clover Park, Florida saying, "Why is everybody calling me 'Dellin,' my name is Tommy?"

...Anyway, there's some regression that's going to happen, but it's pretty clear the high minor leagues had a lot more talent ready to contribute at the MLB level than was widely believed at the beginning of the season.

So, I don't think what they've been doing is sustainable. But it doesn't have to be. They don't have to sustain an .800 winning percentage to make the playoffs. A mere .560 winning percentage the rest of the way probably gets them there comfortably. And I don't think there's any particular reason to believe they can't do that.

Nothing is guaranteed. They could totally crater. We only have to look back to 2019 and the phenomenal 22-6 run they went on from mid-April to mid-May only to see them miss the playoffs with a ho-hum 84-win season. But there were a lot of fluky things that went on over the last few weeks of that season, not only the Cubs' bizarre 9-game losing streak, but also crazy win streaks from the Cardinals, Brewers and the Nats to knock the Cubs out of the playoffs.

But this team has a couple things going for it that might stave off regression knocking them out of the playoffs. There are a ton of injured players and as some of the call-ups start to level off, they'll be replaced by regulars coming back. Secondly, unlike any Cubs team over the previous 4 or 5 years, this team has a ton of room under the luxury tax to take on salaries in trades. If some of the reports saying that the easing of COVID restrictions is loosening ownership's purse strings are accurate, the Cubs might be able to add some Major League talent without giving up too much minor league talent by taking on a contract or two. The other bonus of some of these injury replacements coming up and playing well is that what was considered a pretty barren farm system might actually have a few decent MLB-ready trade chips once guys start coming off the IL.
 
#406      
The Cubs are not all that lucky in 1-run games... 12-9, which is actually a worse winning percentage than in the rest of their games. They've exceeded their win expectancy by 1 game, which is probably statistically irrelevant and might even be a little unlucky if you subscribe to the theory that teams with good bullpens should be beating their Pythagorean W-L.

The bullpen is obviously not sustainable. They've carried a sub-1.00 ERA for four weeks. That can't continue at that level, but there's no particular reason to believe it will suddenly become bad.

Patrick Wisdom is most likely not the Cubs' version of Max Muncy, and Tommy Nance is probably not...

Well, I don't even know who to compare him to... I mean the next Kenley Jansen probably didn't spring fully formed from the mind of Jed Hoyer like Athena from Zeus, fall out of the sky, and land in the Cubs' bullpen... Aliens probably didn't remove Dellin Betances' pitching ability and put it into the body of a washed-up Cubs minor leaguer... ...Is it possible there's some poor schmo rehabbing in Clover Park, Florida saying, "Why is everybody calling me 'Dellin,' my name is Tommy?"

...Anyway, there's some regression that's going to happen, but it's pretty clear the high minor leagues had a lot more talent ready to contribute at the MLB level than was widely believed at the beginning of the season.

So, I don't think what they've been doing is sustainable. But it doesn't have to be. They don't have to sustain an .800 winning percentage to make the playoffs. A mere .560 winning percentage the rest of the way probably gets them there comfortably. And I don't think there's any particular reason to believe they can't do that.

Nothing is guaranteed. They could totally crater. We only have to look back to 2019 and the phenomenal 22-6 run they went on from mid-April to mid-May only to see them miss the playoffs with a ho-hum 84-win season. But there were a lot of fluky things that went on over the last few weeks of that season, not only the Cubs' bizarre 9-game losing streak, but also crazy win streaks from the Cardinals, Brewers and the Nats to knock the Cubs out of the playoffs.

But this team has a couple things going for it that might stave off regression knocking them out of the playoffs. There are a ton of injured players and as some of the call-ups start to level off, they'll be replaced by regulars coming back. Secondly, unlike any Cubs team over the previous 4 or 5 years, this team has a ton of room under the luxury tax to take on salaries in trades. If some of the reports saying that the easing of COVID restrictions is loosening ownership's purse strings are accurate, the Cubs might be able to add some Major League talent without giving up too much minor league talent by taking on a contract or two. The other bonus of some of these injury replacements coming up and playing well is that what was considered a pretty barren farm system might actually have a few decent MLB-ready trade chips once guys start coming off the IL.

Awesome response, thanks CC!

So overall, you think we are a playoff team?

And be honest, did you write off the team after the abysmal start? I know I did.

Not so much because we racked up losses...that can be overcome, it’s a long season. But it was the WAY we lost that made me think we were in for a long season.

I think that’s why I’m so unsure of how to take the recent success.

I guess all I can do is enjoy sweeping the Padres and hope for more!
 
#407      
Rumor has it that Ricketts is telling Hoyer that the first person to be sent down as soon as the next guy comes off the DL is Wisdom. They are winning too many games to allow Ricketts to sell off at the trade deadline. I read an article that says it perfectly. This years Cubs are the Indians in the first Major League movie.
 
#409      
Rumor has it that Ricketts is telling Hoyer that the first person to be sent down as soon as the next guy comes off the DL is Wisdom. They are winning too many games to allow Ricketts to sell off at the trade deadline. I read an article that says it perfectly. This years Cubs are the Indians in the first Major League movie.
I cannot emphasize this enough. WRONG!!!!!!!!!
 
#418      
This weekend's pitching match-ups for Cardinals-Cubs at Wrigley:

-Friday: Oviedo (0-2, 5.25) vs. Hendricks (7-4, 4.59)
-Saturday: Gant (4-3, 2.63) vs. TBD
-Sunday: Martinez (3-6, 6.21) vs. Davies (3-3, 4.45)

With Wrigley opening back to up 100% capacity this weekend, that place is gonna be a zoo for all 3 games.