Chicago Cubs: Defense and aggressive baserunning keys to success
One of the notable differences in the past few seasons of Cubs baseball has been the lack of execution defensively and on the base paths. When this team has been at their best, they’ve been aggressive in both departments. Now we’re starting to see the this team get back to that style of baseball and they got off to a 3-1 start before Tuesday’s loss to Milwaukee.
For the first time since 1992, Chicago committed zero errors through their first four games of the season to lead the league. Obviously there’s still a long way to go, but defense has proven to be essential in winning championships.
The Cubs have been among the league’s best defensively and on the base paths.
The final teams playing in October are always the ones who are the best fundamentally, plain and simple. Nobody knows that better than the remaining players from the 2016 World Series team. Time and time again during that postseason the defense came through during the highest of pressured moments.
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With a lack of high-power starting pitchers, the Cubs defense will be more critical than ever in 2021.
The same can be said about the Cubs on the base paths this season. Their offense is streaky, everyone knows that, and I’m not sure they’re going to change their slug-first approach at this point. However, they could make things easier by getting aggressive as they have been with hit-and-runs and stolen bases.
The Cubs ranked second in the league with five stolen bases through the first four games. That’s a little over 25 percent of what the team had all of last season (24 total) in 60 games. This team most likely isn’t going to adapt a small ball approach with their bats, but their ability to create havoc on the bases is going to make run scoring opportunities a little easier.
If talent won games, every team in the league would be great given how gifted some of these players are. It comes down to executing in different areas of the game, which is what the Cubs need to do consistently this year.
This team is still loaded with talent too so if they can continue to execute, it’s bad news for the rest of the league.