As I wrote a few Mondays ago, we sure could use a nice baseball surprise this summer.
Maybe the Cubs are up to the challenge?
While they’re not red-hot like the 14-2 Tampa Bay Rays, the North Siders are off to a solid 8-6 start after winning this weekend’s series at Dodger Stadium.
The Cubs have taken two of three from the Rangers, Mariners and Dodgers — three presumed playoff contenders — in three successive series. One more out on Saturday night and the Cubs would’ve swept the Dodgers.
But this start has been built on a solid foundation so far and not smoke and mirrors. The pitching staff’s ERA of 3.58 is seventh-best in the majors and second-best in the NL behind the Brewers. Patrick Wisdom has been dialed in with six homers —three of which came at Dodger Stadium — and a 1.008 OBP. Cody Bellinger’s off to a promising start both at the plate and on the field. Seiya Suzuki is back in the lineup while Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner could be the team’s next “Bryzzo.”
After two depressing seasons, there’s a lot to like about the team.
But it’s still early, of course. The Cubs aren’t even 10 percent of the way into the season and 14 games isn’t anything close to representing a good sample size.
Still, if you came into the season hoping the team could play entertaining baseball and compete for a playoff spot the entire season, they haven’t given you any reason to feel foolish about it yet.
• The Cubs’ West Coast swing continues tonight with a three-game set against the A’s, who are off to a worst-in-baseball 3-13 start. They’ll return home on Thursday for a four-game set against the Dodgers.
• The White Sox haven’t been as encouraging as they’ve started the season 6-10 and have yet to win a series. Phillies are in town for three starting tonight, followed by a weekend trip to face the juggernaut Rays.