Dirty Dozen: 12 Bits of Random Cubs Minutia

Fresh off another dominating victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs have moved to 5 games over .500. I can’t lie, I didn’t expect them to be that far above break-even by the end of the entire season, let alone the month of April. There’s a long way to go, but I’m pretty sure those 62% playoff odds just crept up a little.

It’s truly a joy to be following this team in a socially-networked manner, whether that’s through Twitter or just the general connectivity of texts and whatnot. The excitement has been real for months, but now the cautious optimism has crept from behind the corner of the building and is becoming full-blown optimism. I can actually feel myself becoming more insufferable.

But rather than prattle on for hundreds and hundreds of words, I wanted to drop some quick tidbits on you in the form of stats, trivia, and tweets. Who knows, if you’re lucky this might become a semi-regular thing.

  • Through 19 games, the Cubs are 12-7. Their 12th win of 2014 didn’t come until May 8th in their 33rd game, lifting them to 12-21. They were not at .500 at any point last season
  • Starlin Castro is pretty good.
  • This guy:

He got called out a bit but, to be fair, he was a pretty good sport about it from what I saw later.

  • Remember my post from the other day about how Castro has hit a lot of baseballs that landed safely?
  • And while we’re on a nice Kamka kick, how ’bout another for good measure:

For those of you keeping score at home, those numbers also happen to be the players’ respective birth years. I know, right? Mind. Blown.

  • After 5 steals tonight, 4 from double steals (!), the Cubs have 25. That leads the majors. I repeat: the Cubs have swiped more bases than any other team in baseball. I mean, this is on some “I beheld when he opened the sixth seal” stuff here.
  • In keeping with that last stat, Anthony Rizzo has 6 steals this season. Anthony Rizzo’s career high FOR A SEASON is 6, set over the course of 160 games in 2013. Seriously, make sure you hold your loved ones close the next time you see them. This is actually kind of scary.
  • The NL Central is the only division in baseball with more than 3 teams at or above .500. Normally I’d add “until the Reds lose tomorrow,” but they’re playing the hapless Brewers, so the trend is likely to see another couple days.
  • Someone bought a Cubs Insider shirt today and it wasn’t either of my parents, so thanks go out to someone. My goal of world domination just took another baby step forward.
  • My prayers go out to Archie Bradley. I know this isn’t Cubs-related, but it’s incredibly scary to see a pitcher struck by a come-backer and this was no exception.
  • Anyone wanna guess who’s got the highest team OBP in the majors? It’s actually Detroit at .361, but the Cubs are sitting at 9th with .324.
  • Travis Wood is good in odd years, which means Tuesday’s 90-pitch gem that included 9 K’s and 0 BB’s could be more the rule than the exception. Okay, sure, we won’t see too many 9/0 ratios from him, but he’s looking much more like the 2013 vintage thus far.

It’s almost odd that I no longer feel like a masochist when I stay up to watch 9 innings of Cubs baseball. I must say, however, that a not-insignificant part of me is still unavoidably cringing at the notion of the wheels falling off this bandwagon as it takes on more and more passengers.

But the unrepentant meatball fan part of me is winning the battle for my heart and mind, so I’m going to go on having fun in the wake of this 4-game win streak and the potential for even more excitement throughout the summer.


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