Stephen-Michael Thompson Jr | @_StephenSZN
The Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs had a very interesting series to close out their June schedule. Trea Turner and Kris Bryant both were injured before the end of the series. The Cubs made their biggest cut in recent history, and the Nats had a few moments as well.
Nats fans had this on their calendar to really see if the Nats could hang with the defending World Champs. The Cubs came in shaky. Unlike 2 months ago, the Cubs aren’t playing the best. They aren’t fulfilling expectations that their fans have thought of them coming into this series. It was a winnable series for the Nats, but a split will do.
Game 1: Cubs win 5-4
Game 2: Nats win 6-1
Game 3: Nats win 8-4
Game 4: Cubs win 5-4
- Miguel Montero has a point: When the Nationals stole 7 bases on Tuesday night, the Cubs were embarrassed. Montero claimed that the plate delivery was “slow”. If you look at the game, it was. Some Nationals players did not even rush to steal a base. It was ver another jog to the bag at one point.
- Cubs were right for punishing Montero, but the wrong punishment was given: Montero hasn’t thrown out any of the 31 potential base stealers against him this season and he’s batting at a terrible rate. From a performance aspect, Montero’s designation made sense. In the heat of his comments, the Cubs overrated. They dropped a player that was loved by the fans and was a key component of their 2016 World Series championship team. The Cubs will suffer. A few day of suspension would’ve done the trick.
- The Cubs will not return to the playoffs if they do not win the NL Central: The Cubs will NOT get a wild card spot in the playoffs. The Diamondbacks and Rockies are too hot and they will stay that way. The Cubs are barely over .500 and the Brewers are in control of their division. The Cubs must improve quickly.
- Losing late leads will take time and money: The Nationals will have to make a deal to gain another pitcher to their bullpen. They lead the MLB in leads lost while leading in the 9th inning. Adding a reliever must happen soon.
- Despite their record, the Nats have dominated the NL’s Best: The Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Nationals, and Rockies are the top four teams in the NL in terms of record. The Nationals has defeated all of those teams in a series so far this season. The Nationals destroyed the Rockies pitchers in late April. The Nats defeated the Dodgers on National TV a short time ago. And Washing defeated Arizona as well…ALL ON THE ROAD. The Nationals are proving their dominance within the league once again and the stats prove it.
- Base Stealing is an underrated part of their game: The Nationals are 5th in Base Stealing throughout MLB. Their 62 stolen bases are a lot for a team. It makes it easier to hit and score runs more often. The team could be on a pace to break their team record of 237 Stolen Bases in a season (1980 Montreal Expos).