The Cubs finally have a big-game player!
Too bad Marlon Byrd wasn’t around for the playoff runs in ’07 & ’08.
By the looks of it, he wouldn’t have faltered against Arizona or Los Angeles.
Terrific at-bat against cross-town rival Matt Thornton!
Instead of being overly aggressive, Byrd draws a patient walk.
Then comes around to score a huge insurance run for the NL!
Byrd’s ninth inning spin & throw was the play of the game.
He read the situation perfectly, made a spot-on throw and saved the game.
It’s one of the best plays from a Cub all year!
Hendry took much heat for signing Byrd to a starting position…
and not just from Cubs fans, but from all around baseball.
Byrd, however, has been worth every penny, and then some!
Here are my starters for the 2010 All Star Game. Sadly, there’s just one Cub, Marlon Byrd, who undoubtedly should be Chicago’s representative.
Marlon Byrd’s case to be a 2010 All Star…
- Ranks second in the NL in batting average (.323)
- 17 of his 34 RBI have come with two outs.
- Has reached base safely in 53 of 69 games played.
- 29 multi-hit games including 23 doubles.
- Batting . 402 against left-handers.
Has hit safely in last eight road games, going 18-for-34 (.529 avg.), including 6 doubles, 2 HR, 7 RBI, seven runs scored and six multi-hit efforts.
He’s produced despite numerous changes to his spot in the order, and played well defensively.
The question is…what hasn’t Byrd done to deserve your vote?
Raise your hand if you expected Marlon Byrd to bat over .300 into May…my hand isn’t raised…anyone else?
Nearly half of Byrd’s hits (15-of-35) have been for extra bases. His six three-hit games leads the majors…12 of his 19 RBI have come with two outs…and he’s batting .607 (17-for-28) against lefties.
Lou’s put him in the four-hole…in favor of Aramis (.155 avg.)…and suddenly the Cubs are scoring runs and winning games again. Who knew?
We know Aramis can hit…and will hit. But my hope is Byrd’s hot bat will offer Ramirez a little more protection at the plate…which will only help the slugging third baseman get back on track.
Once that happens the Cubs have a lineup looking more like 2008 than 2009…and that’s a major step in catching St. Louis.
The Cubs appear to have turned the corner offensively.
They plated 22 runs in three game against Milwaukee after totaling 18 runs during the opening six-game road trip.
Scoring via the home run remains the same. Nine different Cubs have gone yard totaling 15 HR through nine games…now that’s digging the long ball!
Of course, there’s still something to be said about ‘Get’em on, Get’em over, and Get’em in…especially against top of the rotation guys…but the Cubs’ lineup is built around power, not small ball.
I couldn’t care less how the runs cross the plate…long ball, wild pitch, whatever…just as long as they keep coming. And while the offense has come to life, the bullpen remains, well…scary to say the least.
So it’s score, score, score some more…the winning formula for a bullpen as poor as the Cubs’.
For the next three years Marlon Byrd gives the Cubs stability in center field.
That’s significant considering they’ve been without it for the last five. Even then, that hinges on whether or not you’re willing to consider Corey Patterson as ‘stable’ in center field.
Defense up the middle is hugely important. Teams don’t win championships without it.
Yet, I had to go back to 1987 before I could find an everyday center fielder for the Cubs who lasted three seasons or longer on the North Side.
That, my friends, speaks volumes as to how this club was mismanaged for so long!
–The Cubs have struck out looking this offseason.
Jim Hendry has whiffed on signing the top-two available centerfielders. First Curtis Granderson and now Mike Cameron, who signed a two year deal with Boston Tuesday.
Very frustrating, obviously, with centerfield a priority and the Cubs standing pat in favor of guys like Coco Crisp, Marlon Byrd, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel: none of which I’d like to see suiting up for the Cubs.
But seeing as how that’s all that’s left to choose from I’ll take them in the order listed above.