Tag Archives: Cubs

Mid season Review: “Dodgers”

After a slow start to the season the Los Angeles Dodgers (41-33) have turned things around and if the season were to end today they’d be one of the two wild card teams for the National League. The Dodgers are riding a hot streak  8-2 in the last 10 games having won 6 in a row going into Pittsburgh. Though the San Francisco Giants (47-27) are 9-1 in the last 10 games winners of their last three. Thus the Dodgers still trail the Giants in the NL west by 6 games. It is an “even numbered year” so if history repeats itself the Giants will win it all. The Dodgers will need to continue playing solid and improve their head to head match-ups with said Giants. For a team with such high expectations not to mention such a high payroll it can be said they’re under performing. The Dodgers need to focus on winning baseball games. Clubhouse chemistry has been an issue in the past and we’ll see this year if new manager Dave Roberts can steer the ship in the right direction. Roberts held firm when the team was playing poorly and one of the reasons he was hired was due to his leadership and ability to be cool under pressure.

The pressure is definitely on for the Dodgers having been eliminated in back to back National League championship series. Phenomenal pitching is keeping the Dodgers in the hunt like most years. With the staff currently sitting with a 3.32 era third best in the majors trailing only the New York Mets (3.19) and Chicago Cubs (2.76). Though if their star players don’t start playing like it they’ll find themselves out of the playoffs sooner if not entirely. Adrian Gonzalez (.267) is not looking like the player he was in years past. He is hitting 20 points below his career average but more importantly only has 6 home runs on the season. The silver lining for Gonzalez is he still has managed to drive in 32 runs. The Dodgers will need his “A” game if they’re to advance to the World Series this year. Though it is not only Gonzalez who has seen his numbers drop. Yasiel Puig is hitting only .244 with 5 home runs. Which does not make up for all his strikeouts; 45 in 55 games played. Not having a good year could be said for many other Dodger hitters. The Dodgers overall are 27th in the majors, hitting .235 collectively. Lower, believe it or not, than their neighbors to the south the San Diego Padres (31-43). A team that didn’t score a run until the 4th game of the season.

The Dodgers do have some players who are performing better or as expected. The indomitable Clayton Kershaw (11-1 1.57) has anchored the rotation. When things were bad early this season, the team could count on him to snap them out of a losing streak. Kenley Jansen (3-2 1.48) has blown three saves thus far but has been solid overall. It’s best this happens early in the season and not the post season. The brightest star for the Dodgers has to be rookie Corey Seager. Seager is a leading candidate for rookie of the year hitting .289 and belting 16 home runs while leading the Dodgers with 37 runs batted in.

 source: Amy Dillon; Pinterest.com
source: Amy Dillon; Pinterest.com

Seager and Kershaw cannot do it all on their own. The Dodgers need Yasiel Puig, Yasmani Grandal (.192), A.J. Ellis (.191.) and Joc Pederson (.239) to start playing a lot better. This may be an “even numbered year” but the Dodgers don’t have just the Giants to worry about. They also have to look out for the Chicago Cubs (47-24) and Washington Nationals (43-30). Will it be the year the Cubs escape the curse? Will it be another one in the books for the Giants? Or will the Nationals and Dodgers mix things up. If you’re a Dodgers fan you can only hope this current streak is a sign of more sunny days ahead.

Quarter Season review: Cubs “The Goat Escape”

 source:  billygoattavern.com
source: billygoattavern.com

The Chicago Cubs hype machine is in full effect a quarter of the way through the season. They dominate National baseball headlines carrying the hopes of a city looking to rid itself of the infamous Billy goat curse. The Cubs are getting it done with solid pitching led by Jake Arrieta (10-1, 1.86 era) and overall best in the majors at 2.62. The pitching staff has picked up the slack when the offense has failed to get it done. The last time the Cubs won the World Series you’d have to go back to 1908 when they defeated the Detroit Tigers. Their last World Series appearance was in 1945 ironically enough against the Tigers. Though if you’re a Cubs fan don’t start RSVP’ing to the World Series quite yet.

There are areas of need just like all clubs have. They rank 12 of 30 in overall batting average and 13th in fielding percentage. But key players like Miguel Montero and David Ross are doing an outstanding job behind the plate but batting at .210 and .236 respectively, is not getting the job done. Montero’s health is also at doubt with return trips to the disabled list. To make matters worst Jorge Soler their young left fielder was also put on the DL. Though Soler was only hitting .223, the last 15 games was hitting .303. Another disappointment this year has been Jayson Heyward who is batting .240 and was one of their big offseason acquisitions. Heyward a notorious slow starter will need to prove it has been just that to justify the 186-million-dollar contract if the Cubs hope to win it all. In Heyward’s defense in the last 7 games he is batting .375 and last 15 .304. For the Cubs it’s one thing to dominate during the regular season but postseason baseball is a different beast. Lest we forget the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners neither of which won the World Series. Both teams hold the record for most wins in a regular season at 116. A pace the current Cubs team is set to match. Regular season accolades are great but if you’re not out there come October celebrating a World Series title it’s a mute point. 

Look for the Cubs to continue relying on their outstanding pitching and timely hitting to continue their winning ways. Keep an eye out on the Washington Nationals, New York Mets and of course those pesky San Francisco Giants to challenge the Cubs for the National League title. If the Cubs can find some offensive help before the trade deadline and some of their star players start hitting the way they’re capable of; maybe, just maybe this will be the year Cubs fans can party like it’s 1908.