For the first few weeks, the Chicago Cubs’ starters were scuffling a bit. Unable to find their way, it suddenly clicked. Can they keep this stretch up?
It seemed for a while that the Chicago Cubs‘ pitching was…it was less than stellar. It seemed that every Cubs’ starter that came up failed. And Yu Darvish? Things weren’t looking good at all for him. That fifth inning did him in. But regardless, that one inning was doing him in. And as for the others? Things weren’t looking much better. Then, on April 24, it seemed to click. Why or how? Who knows. But since then, it’s been six innings or better from every starter.
So can they keep this up? The obvious choice is no, but for a good reason. Everyone has their ups and downs. Can you be good every fifth day? I mean, Jake Arrieta did it. But that was an unreal run. We can’t expect something to happen like that again…can we?
Who can do it?
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Darvish is the ‘wildcard’. Jon Lester is the ‘old guy’, capable of spinning a beautiful game. Or he can be subject to a tail whipping at the hands of the Marlins. Kyle Hendricks is the professor. Point blank, he can get the job done at any time. And even if he isn’t? You’ll never know it.
Jose Quintana? Comes out and gets the job done. And finally, there’s Tyler Chatwood. He has some issues with walks. But if he can learn to manage it, who cares? If he can only go six innings, fine. We’ve got a strong bullpen, so why not use it?
The Cubs starters are an exciting group. The trouble early on (I hope) was the cold weather. Lester, Quintana and Darvish hopefully have most of their struggles aside.
Hendricks seems to be able to carry on, rarely giving up too many runs. Chatwood is a tough read. As I’ve watched him pitch a few times, it’s clear that walks our his issue. But if he can keep them off the board, there’s that.
This staff has a little bit of everything. They can keep teams off the board. But, if for whatever reason they can’t? They have a capable offense to put runs up on the board. Like in 2016, but we’ll get to that a little bit later.