Cubs are 56-70 (.444), 13-5 (.722) in August up from 42-65 (.393), Interestingly something changed after July 29th's loss, their 5th-straight, that ironically followed the seasons first 3-game winning streak (July 22nd-24th), something of a novelty being it was the longest time in as season before a Cubs club had not won 3-straight. The three game win streak followed a 2-5 record coming out of the ASB, finishing 8-10 (.444) since the mid season break with the following batting and pitching lines:
July Team Batting: 246/.290/.382 .672-OPS June Team Batting: .243/.295/.397 .693-OPS ASB Batting:.263/.317/.401/ .717
July Team Pitching: 4.85-ERA .273/.343.420 .763- opposition OPS June Team Pitching.428-ERA .264/.342/.401 .743 opposition OPS Pre ASB Team Pitching: 4.62-ERA .269/.346/4.17 .762 opposition OPS:
August Team Batting: 291/.347/.496 .843-OPS, Post ASB Team Batting:.264/.316/.440 .755-OPS
August Team Pitching: 4.04-ERA .241/.304/.406 .710- opposition OPS Post ASB Team Pitching 4.35-ERA .256/.323/.413 .726-opposition OPS
August numbers demonstrate a huge turnaround where for June and July Cubs team OPS was below.700 and the entire pre-ASB was barely above .700 while August numbers represent a 17.57% from pre ASB numbers to August numbers, even more with monthly totals. Pitching also demonstrates similar improvements with with a decrease in 12.55% in ERA and a decrease in opposition OPS of almost 7%.
What has precipitated in this turnaround? Pena's culture comments to the team? Trade of Fukudome resulting in a lineup change for Castro, Barney, Ramirez, & Byrd? Or even something more subtle in that players relaxed knowing they were not going to be traded? Some change in coaching approach or even some combination but my 45 years of watching MLB I have not seen such a turnaround as this. Of course the skeptic would say the Cubs could easily revert to .390 ball?
Now we know that Hendry was fired on July 22nd, presumably before the Cubs game with Houston when they were 39-60 and even though the news was not known or public the Cubs have responded with a 17-10 record, (.630). Weird coincidence?
Looking forward Cubs have 36 games remaining where if they were to finish 81-81 they would have to win 25 (current winning trend) of those remaining games (going 25-11 here on out). That would make it 38-15 (.716) since August 1st and 42-21 (.666) since Hendry was fired they would finish 78-84 (winning 22 games)
All this would actually would be a statistical phenomena, of course the Cubs could suddenly fall back to playing .390 ball today but often end of season trends continue through. Further it might complicate Quade's supposed and assumed continued tenure as Cubs manager