The Chicago Cubs And Wrigley Field – An American Experience

| July 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Chicago Cubs head into the All-Star break 14 games behind the front running St. Louis Cardinals. But, the institutions that are the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field continue to pack fans in to the venerable stadium. Cub fans are truly unique and range from the furthermost eastern shores to the far west. Cub fans are masters of eternal hope and this year’s team gives support to the cause.

Fans take heart in the revamped pitching staff and a more coordinated effort by the starters and the bullpen. Travis Wood has started 18 games for the Cubs. His 6-6 record is not reflective of his 2.68 ERA. Wood has yielded 72 hits in 117 innings and recorded a healthy 85 strikeouts. Wood has good, frontline stuff and looks to be a headliner for years to come.

Cubs fans

Matt Garza, an import from Tampa Bay who has been rocked by injury, has returned to the rotation and has newfound pep in his lively arm. Garza may be trade bait but in his 11 starts, he is 6-1 with an impressive 3.17 ERA. In 71 innings, Garza has struck out 62 batters to give the Cubs the solid one-two punch they have long needed.

Throw in Scott Feldman (7-6), Edwin Jackson (6-10) and popular Notre Dame grad Jeff Smardzija (5-9) and potential fills the rotation. Most surprising may be the performance of Kevin Gregg, who has amassed a proud 17 saves since joining the team this season. A dependable closer has long been a missing link in the Cub bullpen.

Of course, the Cubs have a future Hall of Famer in leftfielder Alfonso Soriano, who shows no signs of slowing down. Soriano has belted 16 homeruns and anchors the offense. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, with 13 homers, and right fielder Nate Schierholtz, with 11, have given the lineup added power. Another outfielder, Ryan Sweeney (.295) leads the team in batting and gives depth to the outfield.

Shortstop Starlin Castro (.243) has started all 91 games for the Cubbies and has shored up the middle infield with sparkling play. Second baseman Darwin Barney (.215) is steady afield and gives the Cubs a prolific double play combo but needs some work with his bat.

Dioneer Navarro’s progress behind the plate has signaled a big change for the Cubs. The catcher is batting a solid .286, throwing out runners and calling the game with precision. The Cubs now have the long-awaited leader behind the plate and a reliable force in leftfield. Watch the Cubs on the road or at Wrigley Field. Every Cub game is great theater. Tickets are still available.

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