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Three up, three down: An update on the Cubs, September 6 edition

We’re going to find some good stuff in a down week.

Marcus Stroman surrounded by Toronto media in his first return to Canada since he was traded by the Blue Jays in 2019
Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Since the last update in this series, the Cubs have won just one game (last Wednesday in Toronto) and been shut out twice.

Nevertheless, I persist, and am going to present here three things that are positive about the Cubs as they get ready for a homestand starting tonight. (There’ll be “three down,” also, and trust me, that list could have been a lot longer.)

Three up

Marcus Stroman continues his road dominance

Stroman made two starts over this time period, threw 12 total innings and allowed one run (0.75 ERA, 0.750 WHIP) and his dominance on the road continues: 1.84 ERA, 0.981 WHIP in 12 starts covering 68⅓ innings.

Now, Marcus, try doing that at Wrigley, where you have a 6.92 ERA and 1.488 WHIP in eight starts covering 40⅓ innings.

He did make a friend for life in Toronto:

Ian Happ edges closer to a milestone

Happ doubled twice this past week and now has 36. The last Cub to hit 40 doubles in a season was Javier Báez, who had 40 in 2018, and the last Cub to have more than 40 was Anthony Rizzo, who had 43 in 2016. Happ’s 36 doubles are tied for third in the NL with Starling Marte, Austin Riley and Nolan Arenado, pretty good company.

Mark Leiter Jr. might turn out to be a useful reliever after all

Leiter has thrown three scoreless innings since the last update in this series and overall since he was moved permanently to the bullpen July 10: 15 appearances, 22⅔ innings, 2.38 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, .191 opponents BA. That’ll play in just about anyone’s pen.

Three down

A repeat “three down” appearance for Sean Newcomb

Newcomb was in the last edition, and trust me you do not need to have the details repeated. Thing is, he pretty much repeated them on the field since that update, getting hammered for five runs in two innings’ work Saturday in St. Louis, including a pair of home runs.

I would think Newcomb will be DFA later today to make room on the 40-man and 28-man rosters for Wade Miley, who will be activated to start tonight’s game against the Reds at Wrigley Field.

Zach McKinstry: What’s the point?

Do we really need to see more of this guy to know he won’t fit into next year’s plans? He had another two-hit game since the last update — his third multi-hit game since joining the Cubs — but those were the only hits he had in a 2-for-11 stretch over the last four games.

I suppose there’s no harm in keeping him on the bench for the rest of the year, but really, Nick Madrigal should be starting every day at second base.

The team as a whole had a lousy road trip

The Cubs went 2-7 on the trip, were shut out three times and overall were outscored 52-29.


How many games will the Cubs win in the upcoming six-game homestand against the Reds and Giants?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    (8 votes)
  • 18%
    (86 votes)
  • 34%
    (165 votes)
  • 15%
    (72 votes)
  • 1%
    (5 votes)
  • 28%
    (134 votes)
477 votes total Vote Now