The Cubs continued their red-hot play to start the season as they clashed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. They just keep scoring runs at an incredible pace, which you’ll see below. I want to emphasis that we are only looking to find out how the team performed in this series. We are not projecting or implying that these numbers will or will not continue for the entire season.
- The Cubs totaled 27 runs over the four-game series, or 6.75 runs per game. That’s a very high number. They also combined for 41 total hits. That’s 1.52 hits per run (HPR) for the series. Not quite as efficient as there HPR of 1.33 against the Angels in their last series, but still an impressive number to maintain over a four-game series.
- Below are the offensive stats for each player for all four games combined (note: some players, such as pitchers, did not get an at-bat so they won’t appear here):
|Tommy La Stella||8||4||1||1||0||0||.500||.500|
Series studs on offense
- Dexter Fowler continues to crush the ball, hitting .455 scoring 2 runs and driving in 3 RBIs in the series. He’s been an offensive machine in the first two series, hitting .526/.640/.895 so far this season. Yeah, we’re pretty happy he decided to stay with the Cubs.
- Everyone knows that Anthony Rizzo is a stud, but it seems like he is in the middle of every big scoring inning the Cubs have. He scored four runs and led the team with seven RBIs. He’s hitting .273/.448/.636, including 6 runs scored and 10 RBIs. Did I say stud?
- Ben Zobrist is an on-base machine. That’s what he does and it doesn’t matter where Joe hits him in the lineup. With a .500 OBP in the series only Dexter Fowler is better (for players with over 10 ABs). Zobrist led the team with walks, and we love walks because walks mean higher pitch counts and men on-base.
- Overall, as a team the Cubs have remained on offensive hitting machine. The Dbacks pitchers went 3.1, 6.0, 6.0, and 5.0 innings pitched. The Cubs are knocking pitchers out of games with spectacular efficiency. They beat Zach Greinke and Shelby Miller who were ranked number 7 and number 25 in 2015 based on WAR (5.9 and 3.4, respectively).
Let’s talk pitching
- The Cubs starting pitching has begun the season nearly as hot as the offense. Well, let’s not forget that home run by Jake Arrieta, so maybe they’re just as hot, and that’s scary. Starter’s pitched 25 2/3 innings, gave up twenty-four hits, twelve runs (all earned and six by Lackey), only five walks and twenty-one strikeouts. As a whole their ERA was a 4.21, which seems a little high but remember that Lackey gave up six runs in his outing. Without Lackey’s numbers, starting pitching ERA was 2.75. Much better.
- Now to the bullpen, who have been completely dominate. They’ve pitched 10 1/3 inning giving up four hits, two runs, one walk and thirteen strikeouts. They have issued one walk in six games, simply remarkable. And their ERA was 1.74 in the Dbacks series. Again, really stellar numbers.
- The clear number one dud was Kyle Schwarber’s season-ending injury. No need to expand on that one.
- The number two dud was John Lackey’s Cubs debut. He got hit often and gave up way too many line drives. I’ll chalk that up to early season nerves and leave it alone for now. We’re obviously hoping he has a better outing this week against the Reds.
- Jorge Soler and Addison Russell went a combined 5 for 27, although Soler did get the game-winning home run and a sacrifice fly to score a run on Sunday, so not all was lost. The Cubs have enough offensive fire-power to make up for the slow start by these guys but we’re hoping that some home cooking is just what they both need to get the bats going.