Who’s the worst offense in Chicago right now, Cubs or Bears? That’s correct, I did go there. The difference is that the Cubs are playing against the top performers in their sport and the Bears are playing against crap. I’m not going to be an apologist for the Cubs, but I guarantee they had a run like this during the regular season and nobody noticed. It’s a small sample size, and that’s all the playoffs really come down to. Plus, you know, they’re trying to hit against the best pitchers in baseball.
The Dodgers deserve some credit. They did a great job scooping Rich Hill knowing that he’s fully committed to taking steroids (relax, it’s a joke. Maybe). How else would he have a Cy Young-caliber season (2.12 ERA, 0.997 WHIP) at age 36? Ten years ago when he was with the Cubs he had a 3.92 ERA, which clocks in as his second best ERA ever. But whatever, I assume everyone is either on the juice or something else I’ve never heard of in order to get a leg up. Only reason I’m not pro right now. Sorry for having morals. But that’s not why you came here.
Hill is statistically one of the best pitchers in baseball right now. Step back for a minute and really think about the last two games. You’ve faced the best pitcher in baseball (he is, it’s not close) in Kershaw, Rich Hill, and a dominant closer in Kenley Jansen. Good luck.
Even going back to the Giants series. You had to beat Cueto and Bumgardner and also deal with Samardzija and Moore pitching extremely well. If there is a solid fact in baseball it’s that when good pitching is good pitching it will beat good hitting. Tonight they have Julio Urias, who won’t be old enough to drink until well after opening day next year. He throws an easy 95 MPH and there is zero difference in his motion between fastball and offspeed. His curveball won’t seem like much from the camera angle that Fox will give you, but pay attention to the swings the Cubs take on it if you really want to know how good it is. So yes, another good pitcher.
The good news is the Cubs don’t have to beat Kershaw yet. They’ll probably need to get to him in some fashion as I would guess he comes in for a relief appearance if LA is against the ropes. However, first they need John Lackey to pitch out of his mind tonight. Pro tip: if he’s already sweating profusely by the second out of the game, that means he’s going to be lights out. It’s called the Freddy Garcia effect. Look it up.