Chicago Cubs lost much more than a game on Friday night

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Heyward has been playing like a man possessed

A great many Chicago Cubs fans won’t ever be huge supporters of Jason Heyward. They think he’s overpaid and, to this point, he hasn’t really played up to his record eight-year, $184 million contract.

But 2019 has proven to be a drastically different story.

On Friday, Heyward belted his 12th home run of the year, going 1-for-4 with a run and two RBI. He’s already surpassed his home run total from last season and is trending above his career averages in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. His 108 OPS+ would mark the first time he’s been above league average since his 2015 campaign with the St. Louis Cardinals.

To see Heyward producing at the dish after several years of disappointment isn’t just rewarding as a fan – but it’s pretty great to just see a guy who never hung his head or gave in finally enjoying some sucess. Getting that kind of production from a five-time Gold Glove outfielder certainly makes things easier for the guys in the front office.

And that’s not to mention everything he’s done off the field. I’m not talking about his rain delay speech in Cleveland three years ago, either. He’s always been a clubhouse leader for the Cubs – and even played an integral role in the team bringing in new closer Craig Kimbrel.

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A lot hasn’t fallen the Cubs’ way this season. But somehow, some way, they’re still atop the National League Central. A big part of that? The steadying presence of Jason Heyward. Bet you never thought you’d say that did you?