While you’re waiting for the second half to begin (hoping for an improvement over the disappointing start to the season), why not take a moment to appreciate some of the interesting Cubs oddities and achievements over the first 88 games.
Contreras hit a leadoff HR in his first career start at leadoff on June 26th. He was the first Cub to hit a leadoff HR in first career start at leadoff since…Anthony Rizzo did it 13 days earlier.
Rizzo was the first Cub to do it since Dee Fondy on June 12, 1951.
He’s only player in Cubs history with 20 HR and at least 10 more BB (54) than K (43) before the All-Star break (since the All-Star Game started in 1933).
Rizzo is also the: first Cubs leadoff man to get on base to lead off a game in seven straight games since Richie Ashburn June 28-July 3, 1960 (happened to be Rizzo’s first seven career leadoff starts).
On May 18th, Báez cracked his 30th career home run…it was also his third career grand slam. Báez is the first Cub with 3 grand slams within his first 30 career home runs since Kris Bryant, whose 30th HR (which came in 2016) also was a grand slam. Prior to Bryant & Báez, the only other Cub with three grand slams within first 30 career HR was Dom Dallessandro, whose fifth, seventh and ninth home runs were of the four-run variety (1941-42).
Despite his struggles, he’s the only Cubs pitcher age 38 or older with multiple 10+ strikeout games in a season.
In fact, he has two of the three 10+ K games by a pitcher 38 or older in Cubs history. Greg Maddux struck out 10 at age 39 in 2005.
While Arrieta has struggled on the mound this season, he has managed to do a few things at the plate (actually, he has a .405 OPS, but still…).
Arrieta is the first Major League pitcher to hit at least one triple in four consecutive seasons since Ray Sadecki (1963-66)
Arrieta is the first Cubs pitcher with at least one triple and one HR in three straight seasons since Bill Hutchinson (1889-92) & Pat Luby (1890-92)
Ian Happ & Kyle Schwarber
The record for most HR by a Cubs player in his first 50 career MLB games is 13 – by two players – Ian Happ & Kyle Schwarber.
Happ hit #13 in Game #50 – as the first of back-to-back HR…with Kyle Schwarber.