Game 4 (NLDS 3): Cubs 8 – Cardinals 6
A little out of order!
All season, the Cubs had problems leaving runners in scoring position. It works easier when you just make home plate scoring position! The big picture strategy for draft (/signing Latin players at a much younger age than would be allowed if they were American) is power hitters, power hitters, and more power hitters. People projected Jon Gray to the Cubs for balance in 2013, and any number of people in 2014, but the Cubs went after hitters. Hitting seems a bit more predictable, a little less injury prone, and a little quicker to advance in the system. (Maybe no one thought it’d be THIS quick.) Power’s costs a premium to acquire, but it looks pretty great when it’s all together. There’s a lot of luck in it working out, and working out all one day, but this an incredible lineup if they can live up to their Baseball America rankings.
Arrieta didn’t look great. He got 9 Ks and his line doesn’t look horrible days later, but he was missing the sharpness he had before. There’s fair concern about his inning count increase from last year. It’d be a surprise if it all came at once and everyone is entitled to one bad day. Rondon struggled, which would be concerning if he wasn’t better the next time out. He’s been much more up and down. The one really good sign was Strop shutting down his nemesis. Just glad he didn’t have to go back to St. Louis to do it.