Chicago Cubs: Bringing on the offense & keeping the defense error-free
Player’s love hitting in Milwaukee’s Miller Park for a few reasons:
- The short outfield walls allow more dingers or balls that would typically fall short, to make it over for a score. Of course, this also helps outfielders with an excellent vertical jump get their gloves into the air to make plays. As the saying goes, “They gotta get there first,” so advantage to hitters.
- Most batters get a clean-eye view of the ball at Miller Park because of the plain walls in the outfield. Basically, this means their eyes get less distracted by signage and advertisement, or ivy or brick patterns. The bare colored walls, followed by a second set of plain colored walls, is an advantage to the batter’s eye and seeing/hitting clean.
- The atmosphere in the park seems to make the ball travel better through the air. It may have something to do with the stadium’s retractable roof and the airflow throughout. Batters tend to see good glide paths of hits in Miller Park.
So how do the Cubs practice their mindset for the postseason?
Knowing the advantages of the park to hitters can allow Ross to stack his lineup and capitalize on who is seeing the ball best or just getting the ball to the outfield walls (as those could now be homers) and try and push offensive production. Increased offensive production means a boost in confidence for the team, and confidence is undoubtedly necessary for that postseason mindset.
(Of course, that wasn’t the case on Friday. The offense struck out 16 times, didn’t score a run and failed to record even a single walk. But today is a new day… right?)
While the Cubs could write the book on turning the double play, limiting all defensive errors is key to getting into the mindset for the postseason. Defense wins championships – and you can’t afford to give away outs, especially come crunch time.
These tend to come on throwing errors when trying to force a double play or dropping a clutched ball while attempting to throw. For the most part, the Cubs score high marks for keeping their errors low, which is expected from a team of seasoned vets. Chicago should focus on playing error-free ball in the closing days of the season if they want to set themselves up well for October.