Defending Champion Chicago Cubs celebrate in style, transition to sense of normal routine.
The World Champion Chicago Cubs sit at a 6-4 record through their first ten games of the 2017 season. After being showcased on Opening Night, and going through two fantastic celebration ceremonies, the Cubs might finally be able to return to a sense of normalcy.
This week, on Monday night, the team raised their 2016 World Series Championship banner, and on Wednesday night, received the first ever championship rings ever created for a Cubs team.
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Through the first ten games, there are some positives and negatives that can be taken away for Chicago. After a much maligned 2016 season, and a revamped swing, Jason Heyward is making much better contact early on this year. Chicago is also seeing no effects from Kyle Schwarber playing everyday after missing nearly all of last season. As the lead-off hitter, Schwarber has hit two home runs, has nine walks, and is playing good outfield defense.
The pitching staff who led the league in ERA last season, thus far remains at the top through ten games. Jon Lester is throwing the ball well early on, and appears to be on the same page with his new battery mate Willson Contreras. In his first two starts, Lester has only allowed two runs and three walks, but yet to record a decision. New closer Wade Davis has also been as advertised out of the gates. Through five outings, Davis has not allowed a run to score.
Saturday’s starter Jake Arrieta is also rounding into form. While there has been debate over Arrieta’s velocity, it has not effected Jake’s success. He is 2-0 with 16 strikeouts. Saturday’s game will be Arrieta’s 101st start as a Cub. According to ESPN Stats and Info, through his first 100 starts with the Cubs, Arrieta ranks tied for first in wins with 56, first in ERA at 2.52, and first in WHIP at 0.98. Those 100 starts also include two no-hitters, and a Cy Young award. It will be interesting how contract negotiations will play out for him at the end of this year.
On the negative side, the early cause for concern is with the offense. After ranking near the top in runs scored last season, Chicago is currently near the bottom in that category. The team batting average (.242) is also on the low side early on, as they are seemingly struggling to find those clutch hits with guys on base. As the weather improves in Chicago, the bats are sure to follow.
The Cubs have become baseball’s “it” team. With the target on their backs, a normal routine can be hard to come across. But now that the celebrations have past, and the bling has been handed out, the Cubs can finally begin their 2017 season, as routinely as possible.