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.)
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:
Former Blue Jay Marcus Stroman met an emotional young fan before today's game in Toronto— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 30, 2022
The fan and his mother traveled from the UK to see Stroman, who welcomed them with tickets to next year's London classic between the Cubs and Cardinals. pic.twitter.com/DkYhQ8JTbR
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.
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?
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