The Cubs went 3-3 this week, but man, that had to have been the most disappointing 3-3 week I can ever remember.
Must Buy Stocks:
Cole Hamels: Hamels continued his accession to the title of ‘ace’ of this starting staff, and since his trade to the Cubs in late July, there isn’t a pitcher in baseball who has recorded a lower ERA than Cole Hamels. Over four starts with the Cubs, Hamels is 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA; he’s been everything advertised and so much more. Hamels is bound to lay a dud in a start at some point, but he’s been nearly unhittable since his arrival on the North Side.
Double Play Balls: In Hamels’ start against the Pirates on Friday, the Cubs turned a Major League record tying seven double plays in nine innings. They had another slick double play with five infielders in the ninth inning in Sunday’s loss to the Pirates. It’s amazing what pitching to contact can yield when you have one of baseball’s best defensive infields.
Kyle Schwarber: One of the very few bright spots of the Cubs offense this week, Schwarber went 4-for-18 with two solo homers and three walks. He also had a nice grab in Sunday’s game that kept the game alive for another inning.
Jason Heyward: Another solid week for J-Hey at the plate, as he went 7-for-22 with three doubles and two runs batted in.
Carl Edwards Jr.: The String Bean Slinger pitched 2.2 innings without surrendering a run this week, and while his FIP of 5.41 suggests he got pretty lucky this week, it speaks to his ability to wiggle his way out of jams.
The Entire Cubs Offense: You’re not going to win many games when your offense only averages a run per game. It’s actually pretty incredible that the Cubs were able to win the first two games in the Pirates series. The team sorely misses Kris Bryant right now.
Willson Contreras: Another rough week for Willy at the plate, as he recorded three singles in 17 at-bats while striking out six times. Since the start of August, Contreras owns a .208/.309/.292 line, worth 64 wRC+.
Safety Squeezes: I hated this play when I played baseball, and I still hate it watching other clubs try to execute it. The play works nearly every time it’s perfectly executed, but that’s the thing, it has to be perfectly executed. I know Willson Contreras has been struggling at the plate as of late, but when all you need is a single or a sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run, you swing the bat. Especially when the Pirates just watched you fail to execute the exact same play a pitch before. It’s time to bring the safety squeeze to the slaughterhouse.
Buy: Yu Darvish has thrown his last pitch in 2018. While we all anxiously await the news on Darvish’s MRI, I think it’s probably safe to say the Yu will be shutdown for the rest of the season. Even if the MRI doesn’t show anything new, I am still skeptical of a Darvish return. He understandably doesn’t want to pitch until he’s 100% healthy again, and with Sunday’s latest setback, it doesn’t seem like Darvish will be able to pitch ‘pain free’ this season.
Sell: Darvish has thrown his last pitch as a Cub. I get it, the Darvish signing has been a monumental flop. We’re all frustrated. The fact that Jake Arrieta has been rock-solid this season only adds salt to the wound. But that doesn’t mean all hope in Darvish is lost. He still has five more seasons left on his contract, five seasons in which he has a chance to be a top of the rotation arm the Cubs were hoping to get when they signed him in February. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, people.
Will the Cubs exercise Cole Hamel’s $20 million option next season?
This poll is closed
Depends on the Yu Darvish situation