Cubs bats exceptionally patient to kick off the season

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

In recent years, Cubs fans have known the pains of watching swing-happy at-bats from the big bats of the lineup that often led to a lot of rallies dead in the water. It occurred so often that it became a part of the old core’s identity, but we have seen an exciting, new approach from the young team so far this season.

Chicago hitters have been wildly patient in this first series against a highly-revered Milwaukee rotation and it paid off in big ways. In each of the first three games, the opposing starter walked leadoff man Rafael Ortega and failed to make it past the fifth inning. This has been refreshing as opposed to the last few seasons where it felt like most starters had the club figured out what they would swing at and we were just waiting to get to the bullpen.

The team has been notably improved when it comes to laying off those “just-outside” pitches, most noticeably on Friday against Brandon Woodruff and on Sunday up in the zone against Freddy Peralta. But, all told, the team’s performance against the Brewers’ three-headed monster was really eye-catching.

Outfielder Ian Happ, who sat out Sunday’s finale after taking a 90 MPH slider off his back knee in Saturday’s contest, is setting the tone – putting up a 1.778 OPS through his first nine plate appearances. Another standout? Fellow outfielder and Japanese import Seiya Suzuki, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite at Wrigley.

Cubs: Seiya Suzuki has been grinding it out in every trip to the plate

Suzuki belted his first Major League home run on Sunday after waiting out Freddy Peralta until he received the pitch he would deposited deep into the left field bleachers. So far, every one of his plate appearances have been a grind and visibly put the opposing pitcher in an uncomfortable spot, making them susceptible to costly mistakes.

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This breath of fresh air has been a huge sign of good things to come for a very raw, albeit talented mix of players. Not trying to get my hopes up too early, but I feel like we saw a much more patient, polished approach this weekend compared to what we’d expect from a team this young.