The Cubs finally got the upper hand on the surprisingly difficult-to-beat Cincinnati Reds. After posting a 5-7 record over the first 12 games with the NL Central cellar-dwellers, the Cubs swept all four games this weekend. Three were lopsided wins and the other ended on a dramatic walk-off bomb by David Bote.
Speaking of Bote, the young infielder is heating back up again. The rest of the team appears to be following suit, undoubtedly aided by the addition of Daniel Murphy. Even if the new second baseman hadn’t been added, the very talented Chicago offense was due to return to form.
Just as important, if not more so, is the fact the Cubs pitching is suddenly on point. Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, and Kyle Hendricks all pitched outstanding games their last turn through the rotation. Alec Mills even came up from Iowa and gave up only a run in 5.2 innings to earn a second start.
The Northsiders now welcome the disappointing and inconsistent New York Mets to Wrigley for a three-game series. The Mets are 15 games back of first in the NL East with a 58-72 record, though the starting pitching has been very good and the dominant Jacob deGrom is a Cy Young candidate. The bullpen has hurt them, posting an ERA of 4.62, significantly higher than 3.89 put up by the starters.
New York’s real issue has been the offense, where the numbers are ugly all around. The team bats a collective .236 and they have only hit 136 homers. They traded their best hitter, Asdrubal Cabrera, to the Phillies in July. Brandon Nimmo, who killed the Cubs in June, is on the disabled list.
The Cubs swept the four games at Citi Field in early June in a series that featured a significantly better version of the Metropolitans, before trades and injuries further weakened them. Their terrific starting pitching means they are a threat, though, so it would behoove the Cubs to take these games seriously.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, August 27 at 7:05 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Tuesday, August 28 at 7:05 pm CT on WGN
- Wednesday, August 29 at 1:20 pm CT on MLB Network (out of market) and NBC Sports Chicago
What to Watch For
- Javy Baez is on a seven-game hitting streak in which he has a total of 13 hits, including three homers and eight runs batted in.
- Anthony Rizzo had six hits against the Reds along with three walks. He is still getting on base at an impressive clip since dropping in the order.
- Jacob deGrom may well earn the Cy Young with a single-digit win total. His numbers are just insanely good despite getting criminally bad run support.
- On the opposite side of the ledger, I’m not sure how Jason Vargas is still in a major league rotation. New York continues to run him out there despite an ERA approaching seven.