This weekend’s series with the Cubs was pretty ugly, especially the last game where we lost 13-5. As you know however, it’s a long season. The series with the Cubs was the first meeting between the two teams this year. Plus we are only 35 games into the season, making it far to early to call anything.
A season has its ebbs and flows. I saw articles on ESPN and other places anointing the Cubs division champs after our series. Last night’s results after both teams went elsewhere scream “Not so fast!” to me. That 7 game winning streak the Cubs had after sweeping us? Gone in a puff of smoke as the lowly Marlins bashed their bullpen in a comeback win. Meanwhile we shut out the Philadelphia Harpers.
I do believe the Cubs have a solid team and will make a lot of noise this season.
I also believe the Cards are the better team, and will prevail in the division.
One reason was shown last night: The bullpen. The Marlins came from behind and beat up the Cubs pen. Meanwhile, after Miles Mikolas did a good job, John Brebbia, and more importantly, Jordan Hicks came in and finished the job and the shutout.
In this day and age where dynamic closers are a key part of a winning club, we have one in the young fireballer Hicks. He’s off to a great start this year and has something like the 20 fastest pitches thrown in the big leagues this year. I saw a video of 3 ESPN analysts (including Alex Rodriguez) discussing him with awe and mentioning that, if he keeps this up, he should make plans for a trip to the All-Star Game. In contrast, the guy listed as the Cubs’ closer according to Baseball Reference, Pedro Strop, has an ERA over 5. I don’t think he needs to make any All-Star plans. That’s one key position in our favor, and as time goes on, I’m sure others will pop up as well.
As always thanks for reading.