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Respect your elders: Cubs veteran starting rotation full of potential

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USA TODAY

Respect your elders: Cubs veteran starting rotation full of potential

A year ago I asked where the 2018 Cubs starting rotation would stand in Chicago baseball history. Turns out, the rotation was better on paper than it was on the disabled list. So, here we are again. What about 2019 Cubs rotation? 

Now before some of you implode, it's a question, not a statement - and this rotation has plenty of those questions with the biggest being their collective age. We all know the PECOTA rankings think the Cubs are old and likely to break down. That might be true, but it's also not that simple. 

Respect your elders! The 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs had one of the oldest rotations in franchise history. Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Jason Hammel were all in their thirties. 122 starts were made by pitchers that were 30 or older. Only the 1920 Cubs had more starts from the 30+ club.

The only regular starter who was under 30 in the Cubs championship rotation was Kyle Hendricks. The same is true in 2019.  Jon Lester is now three years older, but you substitute Jose Quintana for Arrieta, Cole Hamels for Lackey and Yu Darvish for Hammel.    

You still aren't buying it?  Well, 35 is the new 30.

Chris Kamka, our resident stats guru at NBC Sports Chicago, recently tweeted out this beauty. Jon Lester and Cole Hamels are both 35. The last time the Cubs had multiple starters 35 or older make 20 or more starts in a season was 1945 with Paul Derringer and Claude Passeau. Yes, the 1945 Cubs also went to the World Series.

You know what they say: age before championships. For the record, I did write this post while wearing "readers" from Walgreens.

We broke down the starters and relievers for the 2019 Cubs on the latest Cubs Talk Podcast.

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The streak is over: Cubs win on neutral site to take first road series since May

The streak is over: Cubs win on neutral site to take first road series since May

Of course it happened this way.

After going more than three months without winning a series away from Wrigley Field, the Cubs exorcised their demons on Sunday. With their 7-1 win over the Pirates, the North Siders secured their first road series win since May 17-19 against the Nationals.

It only makes sense that the losing streak ended in such an unorthodox fashion, as there were no good explanations for why it persisted to begin with. After playing games Friday and Saturday at the Pirates’ home – PNC Park – Sunday’s series finale shifted to Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA, the city which hosts the Little League World Series.

The obvious explanation for the Cubs’ road woes is that they’ve pitched and hit better at Wrigley Field than elsewhere this season. How the team went 0-10-2 in road series since mid-May, not securing just one series win, is beyond any logical explanation, however.

That’s in the past now, and the Cubs will take the road series win, unorthodox or not. Sure, it came against the Pirates, who are now just 7-27 since the All-Star break. But Sunday’s game still was played outside of Wrigley Field, where the Cubs are now just 25-39 away from this season.

With the push for the postseason heating up, every win is important, and the Cubs can now move forward with a huge weight lifted off their shoulders.

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Javier Báez voted favorite MLB player by Little Leaguers

Javier Báez voted favorite MLB player by Little Leaguers

Seemingly day in and day out, Javier Báez does something on the baseball field that catches one's attention.

From his electric baserunning to his unbelievable tags, Báez is one of, if not the most, entertaining players in baseball. His flashiness on the field hasn't gone unnoticed by the next generation of baseball players, either.

Little League polled the Little League World Series players on their favorite MLB players. Sunday, MLB announced that Báez was ranked No. 1, ahead of Angels outfielder Mike Trout (2) and Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts (3).

Baez's flair carried over to the Little League Classic on Sunday. The Cubs shortstop made an impressive play on a groundball hit up the middle, also making friends with the Little League players in attendance.

Keep being yourself, Javy.

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