Cubs

Numbers Game: statistical oddities of the Cubs World Series title

Numbers Game: statistical oddities of the Cubs World Series title

Out with the old, in with the new.

The numbers 1908, 1945 and 1969 are now — more or less — ancient history for Cubs nation.

Now, Cubs fans get to memorize a new list of numbers and random statistics.

CSN Chicago stats coordinator Chris Kamka and Cubs reporter Tony Andracki compiled some interesting historical nuggets about the Cubs’ World Series championship over the Cleveland Indians:

— Dexter Fowler: first leadoff home run in a Game 7 in World Series history.  Appropriately, it tied for the franchise lead in postseason home runs with three others. The top four comprise the 1-2-3-4 spots in the Game 7 lineup (Fowler, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo). Fowler also joins Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle as the only center fielders to homer in a Game 7.

— David Ross: oldest catcher in World Series history to hit Home Run (39 years, 228 days) — and he did it in the final game of his Major League career.  In fact, he's the oldest player to homer in a World Series game with that game as the last of a career. Who previously held that distinction? Former Cub Shawon Dunston, whose final game was Game 6 of the 2002 World Series with the Giants. The previous oldest person to homer in a World Series Game 7 was Willie Stargell, who led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a championship in 1979. Those Pirates were also the last team to rally back from a 3-1 deficit while winning both games on the road until the Cubs just accomplished that feat again.

— During the course of Games 6 & 7, two Cubs became the second-youngest in World Series history behind Mantle to do something special. In Game 6 Addison Russell became second to only Mantle as youngest to hit a World Series grand slam. In Game 7, Javier Baez became second to only Mantle as youngest to hit a Game 7 home run.

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— Cubs are the third team in Major League history (following the 1950 Phillies in Game 3 and 1978 Dodgers in Game 3) to use three catchers in a World Series game. Of course, the Cubs are the first to have all three of those catchers record an RBI.

— Schwarber was the first non-pitcher in World Series history to collect a hit without getting a hit during the regular season. He had seven hits in the 2016 World Series.

— This Cubs team is the first team to win a World Series despite suffering four postseason shutout losses along the way. The 1981 Dodgers had previously been the only team to suffer as many as three. They’re the first team since the 1960 Pirates to suffer two Word Series shutouts and still win the series.

— Barack Obama joins Teddy Roosevelt as only US presidents to be in office for a Cubs World Series championship. Obama attains this feat just days before the 2016 election.

— Theo Epstein ended the Red Sox 86-year World Series drought. Then, he ended the Cubs 108-year World Series drought. And yet, he's 219 days younger than Bartolo Colon, an active pitcher.

— Kyle Hendricks became the first player since 1987 to pick-off a runner in a World Series Game 7 and the fifth overall.

— Addison Russell's nine RBI are the most ever by a Cubs player in the World Series.

— This is the first time since he became a full-time reliever in 2012 that Andrew Miller has allowed as many as four hits in an appearance.

More on the World Series victory

--Joy to the World: Cubs finally end 108-year Series drought

--Finally: The Cubs are World Series champs

--The wait –and the weight- is over: Cubs fans celebrate World Series title

--Barack Obama congratulates Cubs World Series championship

--Famous Cubs fans celebrate World Series title on Twitter

--Ben Zobrist becomes first Cub ever to win World Series MVP

--Numbers game: statistical oddities of the Cubs World Series title

--Jed Hoyer: Rain delay was ‘divine intervention’ for Cubs

​--Fans give Cubs a taste of home in Cleveland

--Ben Zobrist delivers exactly what the Cubs expected with massive World Series

--‘Dreams come true’: Bill Murray reacts to Cubs winning the World Series

--Big surprise: Kyle Schwarber plays hero again for Cubs in World Series Game 7

- Ryne Sandberg: World Series ‘made it able for me to live in the present’

Jake Arrieta full of appreciation in return to Wrigley mound: ‘I’ll never forget this city’

Jake Arrieta full of appreciation in return to Wrigley mound: ‘I’ll never forget this city’

The last time Jake Arrieta pitched at Wrigley Field, his night ended with Cubs fans giving him a rousing standing ovation. The former Cubs right hander tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, leading the Cubs to victory in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS—their only win against the Los Angeles Dodgers that series.

Arrieta returned to Wrigley Field as a visitor on Monday night, making his first start against the Cubs since joining the Philadelphia Phillies last season. Ironically, Arrieta’s counterpart for the night was Yu Darvish, who ultimately replaced Arrieta in the Cubs starting rotation.

Despite now donning Phillies red, Cubs fans once again showed their love for Arrieta, giving him a lengthy standing ovation ahead of his first plate appearance. Darvish even stepped off the mound in respect for the moment.

“I loved it, absolutely loved it,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to reporters postgame. “[I’m] very happy that our fans would acknowledge him like that. Yu stepped away from the mound nicely. Jake deserved it.”

Arrieta tipped his helmet in appreciation for the crowd, taking in the moment for more than 30 seconds before stepping into the batter’s box. After the game, he told reporters that moment brought back memories of his time with the Cubs.

“That was something that really brought back great memories of getting that same sort of ovation pretty much on a nightly basis,” Arrieta said. “[I’m] very appreciative of that. I can’t say thank you enough to the city of Chicago, I really can’t.”

Arrieta took fans back to his Cubs tenure on Monday, throwing six innings of one run ball in the Phillies’ 5-4 10-inning win. Although the 33-year-old didn’t pick up the victory, he matched Darvish—who threw six innings of three-run ball—pitch by-pitch.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler noted how well Arrieta handled his emotions throughout the night.

“I thought he handled the emotions really well. I thought he was in control of the game even when we were down,” Kapler said to reporters. “He always maintained his poise and he just got stronger as the outing went on and that’s why we were able to have him take down the sixth inning for us.”

It’s well-documented how Arrieta’s career improved for the better after the Cubs acquired him in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles in July 2013. When the Cubs acquired him, Arrieta held a career 5.46 ERA in 69 games (63 starts). He finished his Cubs career with a 2.73 ERA in 128 regular season starts. He also won five postseason games with the Cubs, including Games 2 and 6 of the 2016 World Series.

Despite moving on in free agency, Arrieta spoke highly of his time with the Cubs, their fans and the city of Chicago.

“Cubs fans all across the country, all across the world, they really respect and appreciate what guys are able to do here for them,” he said. “It means a lot, it really does.

"I’ll never forget this city, the fan base, the organization, everything that they did for me. It was 4 1/2 incredible years of my career.”

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Yu Darvish crashed Jake Arrieta's party, but Cubs bullpen falters

Yu Darvish crashed Jake Arrieta's party, but Cubs bullpen falters

Yu Darvish was one pitch away.

Holding onto a 1-0 lead with two outs in the sixth inning, Darvish threw Phillies catcher JT Realmuto a 2-2 cutter. It made sense - Darvish had been spotting that pitch well all night, and the Phillies were averaging a paltry 79.8 mph exit velocity against it.

With one strike standing between Darvish and a 6-inning shutout, Realmuto took Darvish’s cutter and sent it back up the middle for a game-tying RBI single. A 2-RBI triple from César Hernández followed. In the blink of an eye, what was shaping up to be one of Darvish’s finest moments in Chicago was instead reduced to yet another start spent searching for silver linings.

“Really good. He was outstanding tonight,” Joe Maddon said. “He pitched really well.

“He had really good stuff. He had command of his stuff, he had command of himself. I thought he was outstanding - even better than what he looked like in Cincinnati. I thought that was probably his best game for us to date.”

Darvish has continued to lean heavily on his cutter this season, more so than any year prior. After throwing it 13 percent of the time last season, he’s going to that pitch almost 25 percent of the time now. If that holds, it’d beat his previous career-high, set in 2013, by six percentage points.

All things considered, that pitch has actually been good for him this season. It’s his go-to offering when he needs to induce weak contact, and batters are hitting .125 against it so far. He gets batters to chase cutters 29.5 percent of the time, the most of any pitch he throws. While he has admitted in games past that he relies too heavily on his fastball, Maddon sees no issues with the new trend.

“I have no concerns with that whatsoever,” he said. “There’s different ways for pitchers to attack hitters, and if it's successful, I really would not change a whole lot.”

Though the night was dedicated to celebrating one of the franchises most beloved pitchers, it was one of their most maligned that continued to show signs of figuring it out. He’s put together back-to-back starts with three or less walks for the first time this season, and has allowed two or less runs in three of the last five.

The pitcher even stepped off the mound during Arrieta’s first at-bat, in order to let the standing ovation continue on.

“He’s is a legend in Chicago,” Darvish said after the game. “And I pitched against him and pitched pretty good, so it makes me confident.”

The bullpen again struggled on Monday night, as the trio of Mike Montgomery, Brad Brach, and Kyle Ryan allowed two runs on five hits, including the game-winning solo home run from Realmuto in the 10th. For a moment it looked like the Cubs had a win wrapped up when Brach got outfielder Andrew McCutchen to bite on a two-strike slider, but was (probably incorrectly) called a checked swing.  He would eventually draw a walk, leading to Jean Segura’s game-tying single.

“On the field, I thought for sure [that McCutchen swung],” Brach said. “Looking at the first base umpire, I was a little taken aback. That’s why I went off the mound - just to regather myself, because I didn’t want to let the emotion get to me there.

“It’s a 50-50 call, and unfortunately it didn’t go my way.”

 

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