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Three up, three down: An update on the Cubs, August 28 edition

The Cubs had a very good week. Here’s some of the best of the week, and a few things of concern.

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Cubs are on a roll. They went 5-2 on the road trip, have won eight of 12 and are 16-8 this month. It won’t be easy to keep up a .667 winning percentage, but if they can accomplish that, the Cubs will win 90 games this year. That’d be the first 90-win season for the team since 2018.

Fasten your seat belts, this will be a fun ride. In the meantime, here are some of the things that went well over the last week, and some that didn’t.

Three up

Seiya Suzuki is en fuego

At the beginning of this month, Suzuki was briefly turned into a platoon right fielder after a 7-for-44 (.159) stretch.

The “reset” for Suzuki, or whatever you want to call it, has apparently turned him into the hitter we all hoped he could be. He is on a 10-game hitting streak and on the seven-game trip to Detroit and Pittsburgh, Suzuki batted .444/.516/.815 (12-for-27) with five doubles, a triple, a home run, eight runs scored and only three strikeouts.

He’s reached career highs in runs, hits, RBI, walks and OPS and is just one short of matching his home run total from last year — with 32 games remaining.

Here’s his home run in Detroit last Monday [VIDEO].

Javier Assad gave the team the starting pitching it needed

With Marcus Stroman out indefinitely, the Cubs needed someone to step into that rotation spot and produce.

Assad did exactly that this past week, making two starts and posting a 2.19 ERA and 0.973 WHIP, with 11 strikeouts in 12⅓ innings.

Just look at this nasty slider!

Welcome to the big leagues, Jordan Wicks

... with an assist from pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, who went to settle down Wicks after he allowed a home run, single and walk to the first three MLB hitters he faced.

Whatever Hottovy said, it worked, because Wicks retired the next 15 hitters in order, nine by strikeout.

Here’s a look at his devastating changeup. All of them:

It was an unforgettable day for Wicks and his family:

Among all the other accolades for Wicks, there’s this: He became the first Cubs pitcher in the expansion era (since 1961) to retire at least 15 straight batters in his major league debut. (H/T: Elias Sports Bureau)

Three down

Hopefully, Dansby Swanson comes out of his hitting slump soon

Swanson had another rough week, batting .185/.313/.296 (5-for-26) with eight strikeouts. He’s having a weird month of August. The slash line isn’t great at .172/.265/.414 (15-for-87), but he has hit six home runs this month — that’s his best for any calendar month this year with three games remaining — and scored 15 runs.

Here’s his home run in Detroit last Tuesday [VIDEO].

Yikes, Hayden Wesneski

After two good outings in Detroit, Wesneski got pounded for five runs in fewer than two innings in Saturday’s game. It’s been hinted by some that Wesneski appears to get rattled at times when things don’t go right. A visit to the Cubs’ mental skills department might help some. Wesneski has talent and he did start this year in the team’s rotation.

Jose Cuas needs some help with command and control

Cuas’ sidearm repertoire could be successful in the big leagues, but he’s issued far too many walks to be in David Ross’ “circle of trust.” If you haven’t looked, that’s 11 walks in 10 innings as a Cub, or put another way, he’s walked 11 of the 44 batters he’s faced since the Cubs acquired him. A 25 percent walk rate is pretty bad.

But overall, the good news is that I had to stretch to find “three down” for the Cubs over the past week. That’s definitely a positive for the team going forward.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers and Reds this week?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (26 votes)
  • 5%
    (30 votes)
  • 28%
    (150 votes)
  • 43%
    (228 votes)
  • 10%
    (54 votes)
  • 3%
    (19 votes)
  • 1%
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    (8 votes)
524 votes total Vote Now