Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Another Night, Another Milestone

On Sunday night's radio broadcast, I recall Pat Hughes mention "100 wins is the mark of a really good ball club".  Last night, the Cubs won their 101st game.  With every win, comes a new milestone that future teams will strive to meet or surpass.  On Tuesday, the Cubs won their 100th game, the first time having done so since 1935.  However, in 1935, the seasons were only 154 games long, seven games shorter than the 162 game season that is played today.  With this being the case, I feel that looking at the win percentage instead of raw number of wins is a lot more accurate in comparing the success of this seasons to previous seasons.

The best win percentage the franchise has ever had was in 1880, when the team was called the Chicago White Stockings.  In 1880, the White Stockings played a 86 game season and went 67-17-2 with a win percentage of .798.  In order for a team today to beat a record like that, they would have to finish the season with a record of 130-32, giving them a win percentage of .802.  I think it is also important to note that in that era, it was more plausible for a team to be much more overpoweringly talented than all of the other teams in the league. the last team to have a win percentage over .700 was the 2001 Seattle Mariners who went 116-46 with a win percentage of .716.  The 1935 Cubs went 100-54, with a win percentage of .649.

For a complete list of Cubs season records, click here

It is a pretty obvious that there is a trend of teams being more and more evenly matched as time goes on.  This has a lot to do with the a fair first year draft system, farm systems, and a somewhat universal teaching ability of player coaches through out the farm systems.

The Cubs have five more games left in the season.  As of before today's game, the Cubs are 101-56 with a win percentage of .643.  Listed below are the possible season outcomes staring with if the Cubs win out.

106-56 .654
105-57 .648
104-58 .642
103-59 .636
102-60 .630
101-61 .623

When taking the figures above into account, in order for the Cubs to truly have a better record than the 1935 Cubs, they will have to win out.  This is not at all to take away from how incredible this season has been.  Cubs players have been setting franchise records all season.  According to Joe Maddon, the Cubs will come back next year even better.  Perhaps, they will have a chance of edging closer to the 2001 Mariners.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Run Grandpa, Run!

As the Chicago Cubs near closer to the post season, the hype that surrounds them builds and builds.  It is almost as if on the most beloved teams in baseball hasn't won a world series in 115 years.  As the playoffs get closer, I will analyze games, players, and any kind of news I see note-worthy.  Since this is my first post of this blog, there will be a lot of random facts and ramblings, please bear with me.

As of right now, the Cubs' magic number to clinch the best record in the league is 3.  That has a good chance to go down tonight, since the Cubs are playing the Cincinnati Reds, and the Nationals are in a series with the surging the Miami Marlins.

MLB Standings

Over the last few games against the Brewers and Reds,  Joe Maddon has been resting a lot of players since the Cubs have clinched the NL Central and have been in series with 4th and 5th place teams.  However, for last nights game, we may be getting a good look at the current state to a potential playoff lineup.  Joe squeezed in Baez in at 3rd, pushing Bryant to left field.  Joe is really finding Baez to be an important part of the in-field, and it is not hard to see why.  Len and JD commented on his "snag and tag" technique, which has helped cut down 31 base runners by tag this season.  Although Kris Bryant is in his element at 3rd, it has been proven time and time again that he can play other positions, like the diving catch he made last night against Reds.

It is very rare that you see any signs of David Ross's age (well, besides the grey in his beard).  Last nigh was one of those few occasions.  With Ross on 1st, John Lester (of all people) nailed a double into the right field gap, allowing Ross to run from 1st to score.  If you looked at hime after the slide into home, you would think that he just completed a marathon.  Len Kasper joked "Get some oxygen for that man!"

The final was Cubs 6, Reds 1, improving the Cub's record to 96-55.  It is the 11th time in franchise history that the Cubs have won 96 games in a season, and there are still 11 games to be played.  The Cubs have hit all kinds of historical landmarks this this season, and they may hit a few more over the course for the next few weeks.

Tonight, the Cubs will face the Reds at 7:05 CT for the series finale.  John Lackey, who has struggled against the reds, looks to improve his 3.42 ERA against rookie Robert Stephenson.