Improved Box Score: Cubs 6, Royals August 1 – 5, 2020

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The Cubs won again! It’s six in a row and three in a row against the Royals.Across three games, it’s clear that the Royals’ aggressiveness on the set plays a role in how the Cubs rookies approached those games. That means a lot of balls in play and potentially a lot of early contact. That’s how Yu Darvish had 7.0 innings tonight with just 93 shots (and just four strikeouts). This is also why he only threw 30 fastballs in his 93 shots – not a typical mix for him. And like Alec Mills and Kyle Hendricks before him, Darvish limited the Royals to virtually no decent contact on the night. I know it’s not a solid formation, but it’s always great to see three nights in a row.

Also nice to see in a row? SIX quality starts in a row for Cubs. In the first two weeks of a season where restart time was limited. It’s amazing what the Cubs did.

Also nice to see? Jeremy Jeffress perfect in the 8th, then Colin Rea getting the 9th (five points ahead)… throwing 95 mph with a solid breaker. He’s been a starter (he was last year’s PCL pitcher), but he’s a pretty interesting raised bike bump.

The Cubs got their first inning on a simple bloop from Javy Báez down the straight pitch, although the emphasis was on Báez not coming out of the box on what should have been an easy brace. Good. Yes. Of course. But, a few things: (1) it wasn’t Báez who was lazy – he was clearly really confused as to where the ball came out of the stick; and (2) if Báez had finished second with Rizzo third, it’s possible the infielder could enter, and it’s possible that Willson Contreras’ next grounder just off the shortstop could turn into a home out. Just by saying you can’t always guess what’s going on!

Also, it was Báez who drove in the Cubs’ third run in the 8th run, so I’m not interested in riding him much. This race, which was followed by another on a single Willson Contreras, was done entirely through a two-exit rally. In the 9th, the Cubs added another couple with two strikeouts. I love to see this. I imagine I like to see a lot of things that I saw in this game.

Score from the full box.

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