The 13 big numbers for Cubs' August — and 1 bizarre one


The Cubs wrapped up August by avoiding a sweep in Toronto on Wednesday, beating the Blue Jays 7-5 at Rogers Centre.

And so concluded an impressive month of baseball, certainly under the circumstances, in the weeks after the trade deadline.

The Cubs went 15-15 in August, the first time they posted a .500 or better record in a calendar month since May 2021 — while playing one of their most grueling stretches on the schedule this season.

Here’s 13 more numbers outlining what the Cubs did as we hit the stretch run of 2022:

— Cubs starters finished August with a 3.15 ERA — fifth in baseball. Since the All-Star break, their 3.01 ERA ranks fourth behind the Dodgers, Astros and Mets.

Eight Cubs pitchers made at least one start in August: Marcus Stroman, Drew Smyly, Justin Steele, Adrian Sampson, Keegan Thompson, Javier Assad, Luke Farrell and Sean Newcomb.

— Smyly posted a 0.90 ERA , a tick lower than Steele’s 0.96. Both made five starts.

— After trading their top four relievers at the deadline, the Cubs have been trying out pitchers to see who could stick in the 2023 bullpen, which posted a 5.10 ERA in August (25th in MLB).

Mark Leiter Jr. posted a 1.80 ERA (11 appearances) and Brandon Hughes a 2.60 ERA (16).

— The Cubs played in eight cities in August, including Dyersville, Iowa for the second edition of the Field of Dreams game. They beat the Reds 4-2.

— From Aug. 13-31, the Cubs played 20 games in 19 days, 14 of which came against the contending Brewers, Cardinals and Blue Jays. They went 10-10.

— Four pitchers (Assad, Nicholas Padilla, Brendon Little and Jeremiah Estrada) made their big-league debuts in August. 

— The Cubs have now used 60 players this season. They set a single-season MLB record in 2021 by using 69.

— Dating back to 1901, zero Cubs threw at least four scoreless innings in their first two big-league games — until Assad did so last month.

— After a down start to 2022, Nick Madrigal has turned things around since coming off the injured list in late July. He led Cubs hitters with a .300 average in August.

— Ian Happ has hit for less power this season, but the tradeoff has been a higher contact rate and decreased strikeout rate. He hit six home runs in August, three shy of his first half total.

— Happ hit two of those homers last Friday against the Brewers, a pair of two-run blasts, for the Cubs' only two hits in a 4-3 win.

How rare or bizarre is that feat? He's the only player in the modern era to pull it off.

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