The Cubs didn't need long to claim their first win of the season, defeating the Cardinals 2-0 to even up the opening series at 1-1. Below are some thoughts:
Arrieta might be my favorite player. I've spent the last couple of years thinking Anthony Rizzo was probably my favorite Cubs player. It's been a tough question to answer since Kerry Wood left, because I like them all, yet no one has stood out. (I am a Starlin Castro fan, but more on that in a minute.) However, I think I am near the point where Jake Arrieta claims my top spot. I just love watching him pitch, and I think he does everything right. The front office got a steal when they acquired him and possibly worked a miracle by "fixing" him. Or maybe it was just his time. But if anyone is buying me a jersey anytime soon, make it an Arrieta! (Not that I don't love my Fukudome jersey!)
Castro often comes through when he's needed. I'm going to spend this season bracing myself (and my six-year-old) for a Castro trade, which I assume will happen between now and January 1st. Maybe after the season. Maybe when Addison Russell is clearly ready. Either way, this is a lot easier to consider when Castro is 0-for-2 with two strike outs. It's a lot harder when he smashes a ball up the middle to score the team's first run of the season. I'd love for something to change and for the team to keep him. All else aside, the guy can hit.
Hey, Miguel Montero. Thanks for actually hitting a sac fly. It seems basic enough, but the Cubs have had trouble doing things like that recently. And when Arrieta's pitching, that will win games. You can stay, kid.
The pen is legit. I know I won't be able to write about the bullpen after every game, since that would be boring, they'll have bad games, and they won't even pitch in all the no-hitters Arrieta's going to have this year. But how long until this is a national story? And now James Russell's back?!
Oh, and the Brewers are 0-3. Will they even win a game this year?? They might not, guys. They just MIGHT NOT.