In my recap to Monday’s game, I mentioned the Cubs have a +73 run differential for games since the All-Star break.
That’s really good for just 42 games and it’s the best for anyone in the National League — yes, including the Dodgers, who are +56 since the break, even while posting a 30-9 record. The Indians, the A.L. leaders since the break, are slightly better at +75.
This is yet another way the Cubs are showing that they are starting to play at an elite level. The 27-15 team record since the break is just 4½ games behind the Dodgers for the best mark in the major leagues in that span.
More goodness since the break: Tonight’s starter, Jake Arrieta, has a 1.78 ERA in eight starts in that time period. Only Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals (1.46) has been better.
Keep up the good work!
Here are today’s particulars.
Zobrist RF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, La Stella 2B, Avila C, Heyward CF, Baez SS, Arrieta P
Marte LF, Harrison 2B, McCutchen CF, Bell 1B, Freese 3B, Jaso RF, Mercer SS, Stewart C, Kuhl P
Jake Arrieta vs. Chad Kuhl
Jake Arrieta since July 1: 10 starts, 1.85 ERA, 0.979 WHIP. That’s getting close to what he was in his fantastic 2015 season (overall, not the amazing second half). He’s become the guy the Cubs have needed: someone who will take the ball every fifth day and put his team in position to win.
His three starts vs. the Pirates this year, though, have not been good: 16 total innings, 4.50 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, four home runs. Before this year Jake had excellent success against the Pirates. It would be nice to see him pick that up again.
The Cubs absolutely pounded Chad Kuhl in his only start against them this year, April 24 in Pittsburgh: nine runs in less than two innings, including a three-run homer by Jason Heyward.
Kuhl is better than that, and since the All-Star break: eight starts, 3.68 ERA, just two home runs in 44 innings. He has not thrown more than five innings in any of his last three starts, so it might be that he’s running out of gas this year.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus.
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