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 five days away from the first game of their title defense.
With under a week to go until the regular season begins, we figured it would be fun to start off a countdown of sorts to help fans get pumped up for the coming year.
5 in Cubs History
Out of all the numbers that Cubs players have worn over the years, it’s staggering just how short the list of impactful players who wore the number “5” is in team history.
The longest-tenured player that ever wore the number is Bob Ramazzotti, who donned the jersey for five seasons with the Cubs in the early 1950’s. Several managers have worn the number in recent years, including Jim Lefebvre and Jim Riggleman, with the latter wearing it for all five seasons that he was in Chicago.
Presently, the number is worn by Albert Almora Jr, and he may have already made a bigger impact on the team than any other player that has donned it, as he scored the go-ahead run in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.
Notable “5’s” for the 2016 Cubs
5 – The number of Cubs hitters that struck out 100 or more times during the 2016 regular season. Kris Bryant led the team with 154 whiffs, but that was a significant drop from the previous season when he was punched out a team-record 199 times.
5 – The number of home runs the Cubs hit during their NLDS win over the San Francisco Giants. Cubs pitchers thanked the hitters for their power surge by allowing zero long balls in the series.
5 – Cubs relievers did a tremendous job in the NLDS, racking up five holds for the team. Five different guys performed that critical job, which helped Aroldis Chapman to get three saves in the series.
5 – A well-balanced offensive attack by the Cubs helped them past the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, as Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez tied for the team lead with five RBI apiece.
5 – Bryant may strike out quite a bit, but he has an excellent hitting eye, and that was on full display in the World Series as he coaxed five walks against Indians pitchers to lead the team in that category.
5 – The number of starts that Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks each had during the 2016 postseason. Both pitchers had sparkling ERAs, with Hendricks leading the team at 1.42 and Lester finishing second with a 2.02 ERA.
5 – Four different Cubs players registered five doubles during the 2016 playoffs to lead the team in that category, with Dexter Fowler, Ben Zobrist, Rizzo, and Bryant each racking up a quintet of two-baggers.
Did You Know?
The Cubs’ history with the number five is scant, but they have had five Cy Young Award winners during the course of their history. Jake Arrieta was the most recent, as he took home the honors in 2015, and he joined hurlers Rick Sutcliffe, Greg Maddux, Fergie Jenkins, and Bruce Sutter in that exclusive club.