I was looking at some stats this morning, and I found something interesting. This is the Cubs' strikeout numbers for the past four years, with NL rank in parentheses:
- 1269 (1)
- 1158 (3)
- 1080 (9)
- 920 (14)
I'm curious if this is a result of Baker/Matthews, or if this is just a coincidence due to things like the fact that the 2002 team had Alex Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, and Corey Patterson, whereas now only Patterson remains -- and in 2005 that was a reduced role.
It's probably worth noting, though, the Cubs' walk statistics:
- 585 (6)
- 492 (14)
- 489 (14)
- 419 (16)
I guess it's something of a mixed bag. But it's very telling that under Dusty Baker and his crew, the Cubs have not been able to walk at the rate of, well, pretty much every other team in the league.