While it may not feel like baseball season in the Windy City yet, Opening Day is rapidly approaching for the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs, as we are just two short days away from the first game of their title defense.
With just two days until the regular season begins, our countdown continues to help fans get pumped up for the coming year.
2 in Cubs History
The number 2 has predominantly been the domain of coaches during the Cubs’ history, with guys like Gabby Hartnett, Leo Durocher, and John Vukovich all donning the jersey during their time with the team.
Over the years there have been a few notable players that have worn it however, as Randy Jackson, Rick Wilkins, and Ryan Theriot have all sported the digit for the team.
In terms of the history of the team, there is one notable tidbit worth knowing for Cubs fans. Out of the original founding teams in the National League, which began in 1876, only two are still in existence today. Those teams are the Cubs, who have been based in Chicago and have never moved during their history, and the Atlanta Braves, who have also played in Boston and Milwaukee during their history.
Notable “2’s” for the 2016 Cubs
2 – The number of Cubs players who hit 30 or more home runs in 2016, and the number of Cubs players that had 100 or more RBI in the 2016 season. Naturally, those two players were the same duo, as Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo achieved those feats.
2 – The number of home runs hit by Cubs pitchers during the 2016 regular season. Both long balls were hit by the same man, as Jake Arrieta socked both dingers.
2 – The number of home runs hit by Cubs pitchers during the 2016 postseason. Arrieta hit another long ball in Game 3 of the NLDS, but he was helped in the power department by Travis Wood, who hit a long ball of his own during the NLCS.
2 – The number of players that hit multiple home runs during the World Series for the Cubs. Both Bryant and Dexter Fowler clubbed a pair of home runs apiece to tie for the team lead.
2 – The number of starts that Kyle Hendricks had against Clayton Kershaw in the NLCS, and the hurler did a remarkable job, giving up just one earned run and striking out 11 batters in those two outings. Even with that, he still only had a 1-1 record as the Dodgers managed to steal Game 2 at Wrigley Field.
Did You Know?
The first two seasons of Bryant’s career with the Cubs have been remarkable, with a Rookie of the Year award, an NL MVP award, and a World Series title already under his belt, but there is one more factoid about his strong start that could blow your socks off.
Out of all of the position players that have ever played the game of baseball, not a single one of them can best Bryant’s Wins Above Replacement total for his first two seasons, as the slugger has already registered a 13.6 WAR in his first two big league seasons.
It’s not difficult to see why advanced metrics love Bryant, as he can draw walks, take extra bases, play multiple defensive positions, and of course slug home runs over the fence with ease, but to beat out all of the players in history in that metric is still a remarkable feat for him.