Streak: L L L
The Cubs have an official losing streak. Monday night’s hellscape in Atlanta was an official no-show: six fielding errors, no runs, no edge. A season of urgency they said.
Good pitching and good defense go hand-in-hand. There’s no one without the other. The 2016 Cubs were so supremely talented with the glove, historic even, that their Defensive Efficiency Ratio was an eye-popping . 731—the Giants were a distant second that season (.705). In 2017, the Cubs DER fell to .700; last year it was .702—still very good. This year, the club’s DER is an unsightly .633, thanks mostly to the comedy of errors on Monday. Not to kick the Cubs while they’re down; it was one game, albeit, a very terrible, no good, awful, bad day in the field. But defense is always worth keeping an eye on. Heyward, Baez, Almora, and Rizzo are strong fielding anchors. And this Cubs pitching staff absolutely needs them to be.
The Cubs have hit into a league-leading seven twin killings. That’s partly due to having baserunners galore. Jason Heyward has the dubious honor of leading the club with four double plays; he accounted for seven all of last season.
CUBS GNDP 2018
- 14 – Contreras
- 12 – Almora
- 11 – Rizzo
- 10 – Baez
- 08 – Zobrist
Last year, Atlanta won the East by 8.0 games. Their skipper, Brian Snitker, won NL Manager of the Year; their 21-year-old star RF, Ronald Acuña, won NL Rookie of the Year; their slick fielding center fielder, Ender Inciarte, won another Gold Glove; veteran stalwart, Nick Markakis, also won a Gold Glove, and won a Silver Slugger Award; the criminally underappreciated Freddie Freeman played in all 162 games, and led the NL in doubles; the pitching staff allowed the third fewest home runs in baseball. The roster is young, talented, and hitting its stride. And yet, the Braves are an afterthought in conversations about the NL East, the same as they were last year.