The Cubs have completed their first week of the 2017 regular season. Playing six road games, three in St. Louis and three in Milwaukee, they finished with a 4-2 record. Each series was a 2/3 win and in the same fashion of losing the first game and winning the next two.
There were some great moments and some frustrating ones. The Cubs won their first game of the year over the Cardinals by a tight 2-1 score which highlighted a homerun-robbing catch from Albert Almora Jr. The series finale saw the Cubs erase a late 4-1 deficit to win 6-4 thanks to a Kyle Schwarber three-run homer.
Probably the most frustrating game of the early season was game one of the Milwaukee series. The Cubs bats went dead cold as they lost to a sub-par Brewers pitching staff 2-1 in 11 innings on a walk-off wild pitch. The bats came alive in the last two games winning 11-6 and 7-4.
Overall things look good despite a few blips…but even some of those blips are smoothing out. Kris Bryant started 0-14 on the season yet is batting .583 in his past few games. The defense has made some gold glove plays…yet has had some trouble making routine ones. Ben Zobrist had a huge error Thursday which opened the door for a three-run Cardinal first. Pedro Strop also dropped what should have been an easy putout at first but luckily Carl Edwards Jr. stepped in cleaned up that mess. Javier Baez and Jason Heyward gave us a huge scare Friday night in Milwaukee when the two collided going for a popup, but they would both be okay.
The pitching staff as a whole has been solid. Arrieta is the only one to start two games so far and has given up only three earned runs in two starts. He struck out 10 Brewers Sunday in seven innings. Brett Anderson made his Cubs debut on Friday and pitched very well going six innings giving up one run.
Last at the plate, Jason Heyward is currently at .333/.391/.820 and could have easily had five hits on Sunday but was robbed several times. He has scolded the ball probably harder than we saw all last year consistently which is a real good sign. Kyle Schwarber looks comfortable at the leadoff spot seeing a lot of pitches in each AB (a lot of full counts) and has a .333 OBP which will probably get better as the season progresses. Addison Russell is also making good contact and batting .296 with four RBI. Willson Contreras leads the team with five RBI. It is notable that Anthony Rizzo is usually a slow starter out of the gate and he currently has a .160/.270/.476 slash…but give it a week and things will turn around for him.
It is now time for the moment we have all been waiting for…the banner and ring ceremonies and just playing at good old Wrigley Field!