A couple runs down in the bottom of the 10th? No problem for this suddenly clicking Cubs team. I despise being the person that feels like they can win every game, but after last year I am that person. Unfortunately, this year I have been more wrong than we care to admit, but yesterday it felt amazing to be right, especially because there was something about that game that felt huge. That whole series was strange to me, there was way too many Blue Jays fans at Wrigley, dare I say they brought more than any other visiting team that I have seen in recent years. And it didnt help that they were all wearing royal blue, but every once in a moment you could hear the faint chants of “lets go Blue Jays”. Not for long though. Not in our house.
What a week for Anthony Rizzo. NL player of the week with some thick numbers over the last 7 days. Batting .429 with 2 homeruns (one of which a grand slam), 13 RBIs and 5 runs scored. He is taking this offense under his wing and keeping them going. I genuinely feel like this team is having fun and playing loose. It feels a bit like the resurgence of the the Cubs of 2016. For the record I am only actually typing that out because we are on a off day (every time I have typed it out in the past, we either get shut out or lose in a lopsided manner). I know when Willson went down (it still hurts to type) we were all worried about what our offense would do to keep rolling, well our offense in Anthony Rizzoing just in time.
How many of you questioned the deal for Avila and Wilson at the deadline because of adding Avila? I was not one of you, I was talked into agreeing with the pick up of a pitcher but I was always on the “get Willson some relief” bandwagon. And when Willson Contreras went down, that pick up became even bigger. Then they go and grab Rene Rivera off waivers from the Mets. Immediately put to work, this catcher went on record and told the press he was “honored” to be in a Cubs uniform. And he looked very comfortable out there yesterday. Made some solid contact (a hit right back up the middle off the pitcher) and ended up reaching on that infield hit. He is a solid back up to Avila right now, I love me some Caratini (too bad he got sent back down 2 days after he went 3 for 3 against the Blue Jays) but his lack of big league innings was something front office had to address. Job well done. Again. Although I am wondering at what point the real Justin Wilson is going to show up. I am frightened at the thought of him potentially replacing Wade Davis in 2018. Our 26 save (as of our off day August 21st) Wade Davis. Justin Wilson cant find the strike zone (9 walks in 5.2 innings pitched) and his ERA with the Cubs is almost triple what it was with Detroit (6.35 vs. 2.68 respectively). Also alarming is in 40.1 innings with Detroit this year he gave up a stingy 22 hits, with the Cubs 9 hits over his 5.2 (.55 hits per inning with Detroit and 1.73 hits per inning with Chicago). He also had 13 saves with Detroit and with Davis dominating as he has, its hard to picture Justin with a single save before the end of the season in a Cubs uniform. I am hoping that an opportunity presents itself where Justin can come in and be the dominant set up guy we need him to be. Thankfully, he’s not our only option out of the bullpen.
I wrote a blog a while back about Javy being Javy. And I feel like the Javy we saw yesterday was the Javy we need to get this team back to feeling like its 2016 self. He is an honor to watch. I appreciate his athleticism, his passion, his love of the game, his expectation of himself to make plays that we cant wrap our brains around, his emotion and him being in a Cubs uniform. As much as some of you may think he is expendable when he doesnt give us jaw dropping defensive plays or gasping offense and base running on the daily, remember a moderate amount of Javy is better than none of Javy or even worse yet, Javy on an opposing roster. Until next time……..Bryz