Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the hippest hang for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re so glad you stopped by this evening. We hope you’ve had a pleasant day. There’s no cover charge this evening, so there’s no reason not to come in and cool off. We’ve still got a few tables available. Bring your own beverage.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.
For the second-straight night, the Cubs shut out the Pirates, this time 4-0. Marcus Stroman continues to impress and Mike Tauchman just isn’t planning on giving up the starting center field spot anytime soon. The win lifts the Cubs into third place in the NL Central, past Pittsburgh, although they aren’t gaining any ground on first-place Cincinnati, who have now won ten in a row. In fact, the Pirates were the only NL Central team to lose this evening.
Last night, I asked you who you thought would win said National League Central. The hometown bias came through strong as 57 percent of you picked the Cubs. Of course, I doubt I’d have gotten seven percent of you to pick the Cubs a month ago. In second place was the Brewers with 24 percent. You’re still not buying the Reds, who only got 14 percent.
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I don’t do a movie essay. But I always have time for jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.
I’ve featured pianist Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox before, which is a made-for-YouTube jazz ensemble that plays old-fashioned versions of modern pop songs. It’s a novelty act, but it can be pretty fun.
And I have to say, I could not stop laughing at this new video, featuring Tatum Langley singing Green Day’s “Basket Case.”
Welcome back to everyone who skips the music.
Marcus Stroman has been on a roll lately. He won his first two starts of the season and then went 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA over his next seven. He actually pitched better than that line looke. He was a victim of some non-support—both from the offense and the bullpen—and five of those seven starts were “quality starts” of three or fewer earned run over six or more innings. But the other three were admittedly pretty bad: at home against the Dodgers on April 23 and at Minnesota on May 14.
But his last seven starts, Stroman has been magnificent. In that span, Stroman has been 7-0 with a 1.29 ERA. The Cubs offense has been better, admittedly but Stroman has not allowed more than two runs in any of those seven starts. In two of them, he didn’t allow any. One of those was tonight and the other one was the one-hit complete game shutout he pitched against the Rays on May 29.
I know the “win” statistic isn’t very fashionable anymore and I admit I don’t pay a lot of attention to it. But winning seven-straight does catch my attention and when Stroman did it with with seven quality starts, you know he’s been pitching well. Stroman is also tied with the Diamondbacks Merrill Kelly for the National League lead. He’s two wins behind the Rays’ Shane McClanahan for the major-league lead.
So tonight, I’m asking you how many regular-season games will Marcus Stroman win this year? He’s at nine already and we’re 45 percent of the way through the year. If you prorate Stroman’s nine wins out to the rest of the season, it’s 19.97 wins. I think we can round that up to 20.
The Cubs haven’t had a 20-game winner since Jake Arrieta’s Cy Young campaign in 2015. Can Stroman make it there this season?
We’re just counting regular-season games here. Jon Lester won 22 games and Arrieta won 20 in 2016 if you count the playoffs.
How many wins will Marcus Stroman have this season?
This poll is closed
20 or more
18 or 19
15 to 17
12 to 14
9 to 11
Thank you again for stopping by. We hope you had a good time too. Please get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow for more BCB After Dark.