You could be forgiven, just a bit, if you squinted and saw “2016” on your calendar Friday night instead of 2021.
There was Jake Arrieta, dominating the opposition.
There was Kris Bryant, smashing a home run that helped lead the Cubs to a 4-2 win over the Tigers.
Of course, it’s not 2016, Arrieta’s back after three years in Philadelphia exile and Bryant might be in another uniform next year.
But those two are still very good players and, well, I think this is still a better team than it’s shown on some afternoons and evenings.
Friday night in Detroit, just about everything went the Chicago Cubs’ way.
Arrieta allowed a few baserunners in the early innings, but all were wiped out on double plays, so he faced the minimum 15 hitters through five innings.
In the third, after Willson Contreras singled with one out, Bryant gave the Cubs the lead [VIDEO].
Your browser does not support HTML5 video.
The opposite-field shot didn’t make it over the wall by much, but it was enough to put the Cubs ahead 2-0. It was Bryant’s 10th of the season in the Cubs’ 37th game (his 35th). That’s the fastest KB has gotten to 10 home runs in any season:
2015: 60th game (68th team game)
2016: 44th game (45th team game)
2017: 39th game (42nd team game)
2018: 67th game (90th team game)
2019: 41st game (42nd team game)
And, of course,…