The Chicago Cubs don’t want to think of it as taking advantage of another team situation, but the evidence continues to add up: As opponents struggle to deal with coronavirus-related issues, the first-place team in the NL Central rankings continues to be a model for the league on the field while dominating the competition over it. Cuba’s 12-3 record is the best in baseball after a Cleveland Indians Tuesday / Wednesday cleanup.
“I have a good team,” Cubs manager David Ross said Wednesday after his side’s 7-2 victory. “We have good players. There is nothing to complain about because the talent is there, the character is there. The commitment, the focus, the energy, the work, all those things that seem easy and bring on every day, are not ̵1; “especially in the environment we are dealing with now.”
The Indians know very well, as they are the last opponent of the Cubans who suffer riots in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Is it a coincidence that the Indians lost both games in Cuba after placing starting pitchers Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger on the limited list for breaking team protocols related to COVID-19? After passing 17 straight races without giving up more than four runs, the Indians did it twice in a row against the Cubs, losing 7-1 and 7-2.
It is clear that Indian manager Terry Francona has a distraction in his hands.
“Anyone who handles the best adjustments gives themselves the best chance of winning,” Francona said simply Wednesday.
Count Plesac and Clevinger as players who did not “fit in” with the protocols when they left the team hotel unlicensed last weekend. Meanwhile, their opponent the past two nights has not had a positive test among his players, and the Cubans have held each other accountable away from the field, so distractions such as the Plesac / Clevinger situation have not occurred.
“It’s a short time just to follow your house and stay in your room and do what needs to be done,” said Cubs’ Chris Bryant after hitting a house in Wednesday’s game. “It’s a great experience to learn. The Indians had some boys leave. I’m sure they learned from that. Hopefully we have a collective group of 30 teams that is able to engage in this process.”
It has been difficult – and not just for Indians. Archrivals and Cubs, St. The Louis Cardinals, have been on the border since July 29 due to a coronavirus outbreak, and another division rival, the Cincinnati Reds, is recovering from a slow start that included virus issues.
“They [Cubs players] “They’ve embraced change and been accountable to each other in their work and attitude,” Ross said before Wednesday ‘s game. Their focus has been off the lists. “
This is appearing in their game. A terrible defensive squad last season, the Cubans have thrown the scenario in that area. They have done the same in baseball, where they have made the most of league results in 2018 and 2019. So far this season, they have made just three departures to the base in 15 games.
“Sometimes a different set of eyes sees different things,” said Ross, the Cubs’ first-year manager. “The overall theme of the bow is that players have to be responsible and work to be the best. They have done it.”
But perhaps the most noticeable difference in Cubans is on the plate. A team that was much worse than the sum of its parts these last two years has suddenly found its mojos. The Cubs showed that outside, in all countries, Cleveland, where they won the World Series in 2016. At that time, the Cubs had a serious offense.
“One to nine, there really is no deterioration in our lineup,” Bryant said. “I can’t really remember a time playing for this team, where it was like that. I think it shows in our record.”
That’s saying something, given that the Cubans of 2016 and ’17 were ruthless, but of course, it was without a certain hitter every day. However, Indian beginner Carlos Carrasco knows very well what Bryant is talking about. He threw 89 pitches to overcome the fourth Wednesday, and finished after 4⅓. The cubes lead the MLB to the fields seen for the slab view (4.2), so Carrasco is not alone in feeling grind.
“We are playing as a team – not playing with numbers [statistics], “said Javy Baez.” “It’s a short season, so we don’t have time to go up and down.”
Because of the short season, the numbers tell us something about Cuba’s great start: They have a better than 95% chance of making the post-season, despite having only played 15 games. This is something that will keep the Cubs on and off the field as much as any protocol or directive.
“Throughout the day, you’ve been at an advantage,” infielder David Bote told security protocols. “There is no place to relax except in your room. Then you are lighting up four walls. That makes it challenging.”