Over the last few months the Chicago Cubs have mounted a furious charge to the front of the National League Central. Fans, coaches and players will point to many reasons for the turn-around in the Cubs season. There is Sweet Lou’s outburst in early June, Aramis Ramirez’s walk-off against the Brewers or the day Zambrano went medieval on Michael Barrett. Professional journalists credit the play of up and comers like Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot for the northsiders’ success.
All of these things and so much more could be the reason for the turn-around that has Chicago alive with Cub fever. There seems to be one aspect or player that has gone unmentioned in all the talk of rejuvenation. His name is Koyie Hill. I am not a stats guy and you will find out why in the next paragraph but let’s take a look at some of Mr. Hill’s stats so far this season: batting average .163 (13 of 80), 12 RBI’s, 7 walks and 16 strikeouts. With numbers at the plate like that how could anyone logically say he is the reason for the team’s success?
Because Koyie Hill is 16-6 as the Cubs’ starter and 22-11 when he appears in a game. Other Cub catchers have better offensive stats but none have the record that Mr. Hill does. Kendall is 6-5 and Michael Barrett left the Cubs when they were 32-37.
So as you can see, sometimes stats don’t matter. Baseball is a stats type of game but what gets lost in that are glue guys, guys who seem to hold teams together. It never shows up in the stat line but ball clubs play better and win more when certain people are on the field, even though they might not “produce” offensively.
Koyie Hill will never hit higher than the 8 hole but somehow, someway he is the glue that holds this Chicago team together. The team is 10 games over .500 when he starts. People will complain about batting average this and RBI that but at the end of the day, it’s about winning and Koyie Hill is a winner. There’s no statistical explanation for it but he is.
So, thank you Koyie Hill for your help in rejuvenating the Cubs’ season just by being on the field.