The Rundown: Cubs Fall to .500, Strikeouts at Record Pace, Addison Russell Staying in 9-Hole For Now
We’ve had a number of fun Cubs weekends already this season.
This past weekend was probably not one of those, what with yesterday’s 3-2 loss in 11 innings to the Brewers dropping the Cubs back to .500.
But hey, at least Kris Bryant homered on Saturday. And we got to see David Ross toss a 1-2-3 inning. That was pretty fun.
The left-field bleachers will be opening up tonight at Wrigley Field for the first time this season, and hopefully the Cubs can look at it as a bit of a reset and get things going again.
Cubs starters need to go deeper into games. I think when this starts happening, the rest will fall into place.
K’s keep piling up
The Cubs went down on strikes another 16 times on Sunday. The game did go into extra innings, but that’s still a whole lot of strikeouts.
And so far, they’re on a record pace for the season:
#Cubs batters have whiffed 304 times in 30 games. Projects to 1,642. Last year's team set Cubs record with 1,477.
— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) May 10, 2015
Similar to the pitchers going deeper in games, I’m hoping this straightens out eventually. We know this team is going to strike out a lot, but hopefully Cubs hitters can find a happy medium where they’re making more contact (and hitting more home runs).
Russell sticking in 9-hole
Going into Sunday’s game, Addison Russell had a 12-game hitting streak going (although it was snapped yesterday). But despite the success, Joe Maddon likes Russell batting ninth.
“He’s not going to see any better pitches than he is right now,” Maddon told Jesse Rogers. “The only stigma attached to that is of the fat kid that used to play right field and hit ninth. Batting order is a circular situation. It’s not (Christopher) Columbus batting order where it falls off the face of the earth.”
Maddon has said that the ninth hitter in his lineup should be viewed more as a second lead-off hitter. I’m pretty sure that’s where he was going with this. He’s bordering on getting into some True Detective-type stuff, however.
Bottom line, Maddon values the ninth hitter more than perhaps the casual fan. Russell has had a lot of success there so far, and it’s a good spot for him to get his feet wet. But I have to think he’ll be moved higher in the order at some point if his solid hitting continues.
* The Iowa Cubs’ offense had itself a very fine afternoon yesterday, putting up 14 runs on 16 hits. Javier Baez was 2-for-3 with a walk and HBP. Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-5 with a triple. And Junior Lake went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. I expect to see all three back up with the Cubs at some point.