The Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB) are on a roll.메이저사이트
The Cubs blasted the Cincinnati Reds 16-6 in Chicago’s home opener today (Feb. 3), following up yesterday’s 20-9 win, making it two days in a row that they’ve blitzed the Cincinnati mound.
The 36 runs scored in two games is the most runs scored in two days in Cubs franchise history since they scored 35 on June 2-3, 1897. That’s a record that hadn’t been set in 126 years.
The real-life Cubs are shaking up the National League Central with their bats on fire. They’ve won 12 of their last 15 games and are now 55-53 on the season, putting pressure on the NL Central leaders. The gap to first-place Cincinnati is now just 2.5 games.
The recent surge has even prompted the Cubs to completely revise their season plans: initially looking to sell off key players ahead of free agency, they’ve switched to a buyer’s market as they look to challenge for first place in the division.
In fact, after retaining reigning NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) center fielder Cody Bellinger, 28, who was a hot commodity at the trade deadline, the Cubs instead went about bolstering their weak positions, acquiring third baseman Jaime Candelario, 29, from the Washington Nationals on March 31. The Cubs, who had hoped to fertilize their prospect farm by selling Bellinger, instead sent the team’s 14th (Kevin Meade) and 16th (DJ Herz) prospects to Washington.
Jamie Candelario is 8-for-9 since being traded. Photo = AFP Yonhap
So far, the decision is proving to be a huge success. Bellinger, who won his first Player of the Month award since April 2019, is still hitting like a champ, while Candelario has been on a cartoonish tear, going 8-for-9 in two games since the trade.
In addition to Candelario and Bellinger, there are currently eight hitters on the Cubs roster with a wRC+ (adjusted run production) of 110 or higher, which is 10% more productive than the league average: second baseman Christopher Morel (24), catcher Miguel Amaya (24), shortstop Dansby Swanson (29), outfielder Mike Tuckman (32), outfielder Ian Happ (28), and third baseman Patrick Wisdom (31). That’s a lineup to be reckoned with.
Mike Tuckman is thriving in the MLB after failing to re-sign with the Hanwha Eagles. Photo = AFP Yonhap
“It’s a lot of fun to be in the postseason race,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “There’s still a lot of games left, and we’re going to go out and compete.”