clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #57: Day game after game?

Hello, morning baseball! It seems so long since we last saw you... Almost 24 hours, in fact.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Archie Bradley
RHP, 2-0, 6.11
John Lackey
RHP, 5-2, 3.16
Jean Segura - 2B Dexter Fowler - CF
Michael Bourn - RF Jason Heyward - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Kris Bryant - LF
Jake Lamb - 3B Anthony Rizzo - 1B
Welington Castillo - C Ben Zobrist - 2B
Chris Owings - CF Tommy La Stella - 3B
Yasmany Tomas - LF Miguel Montero - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Javier Baez - SS
Archie Bradley - RHP John Lackey - RHP

This Cubs team terrifies me. They're on pace for 115 wins, and their Pythag says they have actually underperformed - their Pythag projection is an even more insane 125 wins. Let me repeat that: one hundred and twenty-five wins. But even the lower figure is borderline insane: only one team since 1998 has had as good a record as the 2016 Cubs (and we'll get to them in a moment). They might as well start setting up their playoff rotation now, with 110 games left. Because the last team with 37 wins in their first 52 games, who did not make the post-season, was the 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers. And even they still won 104 games, which would certainly get you a wild-card birth now.

Can anyone stop the Cubbies? Is this going to be The Year? Not necessarily, because once you reach the post-season, absolutely anything can happen. Just ask the last team to get off to such a good start - one who went on to finish the year with 116 wins, a number never surpassed in baseball history. That would be the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who didn't even make it to that year's World Series, losing to the Yankees in the ALCS. Possibly a good thing for the D-backs; someone should simulate an Arizona-Seattle World Series. But they're not alone: the other team to win 116 games also failed to win the World Series: that would be the 1906 Cubs.

Indeed, of the four outfits who have passed 110 victories only one - 1998 Yankees, who went 111-51 - actually went on to win it all. Is it a case of win fatigue? Or simply the semi-random nature of the post-season, where a short series means that not only can anything happen, but that it usually does? The latter will be what the D-backs are hoping for this weekend in Chicago, because looking at the match-ups... Well, the words "snowball" and "hell" come to mind. As I told Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue, this one might be our best hope of a win, because I do not fancy our chances against Arrieta tomorrow, or with Escobar Sunday.