When you don't score, you don't win. Nor do many people move up the statistical ladder. Despite the shutout in the Cubs postseason finale, four players moved up, and any move up makes future success more historically rewarding.
Ian Happ's two hits in last Friday’s finale bumped him to five hits. As my leader board starts at 19, he still has a distance to go. However, he looks to be a viable long-term piece, and one of the few logical restructure/extension candidates after a positive season. If he does get extended to five more seasons, he might have enough bites at the apple to pop up on a few lists
Speaking of bites at the apple, Yu Darvish might need only two more starts to hit the strikeout list, which starts at 21. Darvish fanned six, and might list with two more starts. With three years left on his contract, that could be enough time.
Kyle Schwarber was one of the two big winners last Friday. His walk promoted him into a tie for the team leadership with 13. Jason Heyward's game played moved him to a tie for sixth with Ben Zobrist, and his hit by pitch was his third, tying him with Frank Chance.
Willson Contreras' two HBP gave him three, as well. Chance, Contreras, and Heyward trail only Anthony Rizzo (four). While Contreras only managed one at-bat on Friday, he only gained on Frank Schulte (81 at-bats), getting to 79 in eighth place. On the other hand, his four plate appearances vaulted him past Wildfire Schulte into a tie with Jimmy Sheckard at 94, in a tie for seventh.
I wish a few more wins had given a few more players chances to climb the ladder. The "one run in two games" limited my interest in updating. Contreras seems closest to significant moves. However, a three-homer, six-RBI game would move the needle for about anyone. Here's to a lengthier stay in 2021, with some offensive firepower. And another two starts for Darvish and Kyle Hendricks, whose 11 pitching starts looks somewhat unapproachable for awhile.