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Willson Contreras didn't just become the 119th player in history on Sunday to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat, he became the 31st player to hit a home run on the first pitch thrown to him in his first major league at-bat.
He wasn't the first Cub to perform the feat, though. Jim Bullinger (a pitcher) also did it, in 1992.
Stepping back from the first-pitch metric, Jorge Soler and Starlin Castro also hit home runs in their first major league at-bats.
Further, Contreras pulled off his little miracle as a pinch hitter, to a standing ovation from a crowd celebrating his debut at Wrigley Field.
What a magical moment in a season of magical moments.
Lest I get too earnest pinch-hitting myself for Marty "Cub Factor" Gangler this week, who was detained by Father's Day activities on Sunday, I will say this - when it was announced that Chris Coghlan would be batting lead off for the Cubs yesterday I said aloud "Not for long!"
Coghlan is understandably thrilled to back, and he indeed proved to be an invaluable member of the team last year, but the outfield is getting crowded. My advice is to rent, not buy.
Steve: So I haven't seen anyone joke yet that Willson Contreras stole his extra 'l' from Welington Castillo.
Maybe because it's kind of lame, but I'd think someone would say it anyway, because most people are lame.
Marty: Yes, most people are llame.
The extra "l" is the source of his power. We shall call him "The L."
Week in Review: The Cubs dropped two of three to the Nationals in Washington before returning home to sweep a three-game set against the Pirates, for a 4-2 week. It seems like the Cubs play the Pirates as often as the Red Sox play the Yankees these days.
Week in Preview: The boys in blue get the Cardinals at home for three to start the week, before hitting the road for a four-game set in Miami as part of a 24-game stretch in 24 days. They were originally scheduled for a day off on July 7th, but now have a makeup game against the Braves at Wrigley. That game is also Ron Santo Replica Statue day.
Musical Outfielders: And no, we aren't talking about Matt Szczur playing the French horn. Try to follow along with last week's outfield maneuvers: Dexter Fowler started four games in center and pinch hit once; Jason Heyward started four games in right and one game in center; Chris Coghlan started three games in left and pinch hit twice; Kris Bryant started three games in left, one game in right, and came in for Coghlan once game in left; Albert Almora Jr. started one game in center, one game in right, and pinch hit and/or came in as a defensive replacement in three games; and Matt Szczur started one game in left. Some of those pinch hits included defensive replacing and some didn't, but I got too tired to bear down on that. In effect, the music stopped and I wanted to sit down.
Former Annoying Cub of the Week: Darwin Barney is hitting .301 with an OBP of .346 with the Blue Jays this season, where he's "making the most" of his opportunity.
He also keeps making plays like this:
As such, we're annoyed.
Current Annoying Cub of the Week: This might be a bit easy - and we'd like to just pick Jorge Soler every week - but we'll go with Clayton Colby Richard. Clayton Colby Richard, you come home right now! You're gonna get a whuppin'! Richard's ERA is an astonishing 7.50 and his WHIP a gaudy 2.17. Clayton Colby Richard, you are the weakest link! Anthony Rizzo is a close second.
Mad(don) Scientist: Old Poppa Joe held his own here, unlike some others:
Dude is comfortable in his own skin.
Kubs Kalender: The Cubs don't have any promotions on tap this week but we suspect they'll be theme-dressed when they head out to Miami on Wednesday night. Perhaps a Miami Vice thing? Which would annoy us.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that the Golden State Warriors' Game 7 loss has nothing to do with the Cubs.
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Posted on Jul 15, 2019