Six ways the Cubs supercharged their offense

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The turnaround by the Chicago Cubs' offense this season has been so unusual, so remarkable, that for a time, even the executives who shaped the team weren't wholly sure whether the explosive run production was real or a temporary aberration. But on July 26, Jed Hoyer, the Cubs' head of baseball operations and general manager Carter Hawkins, watched the team from seats on the first-base side at Guaranteed Rate Field and saw a comeback that swayed them.

With the front office sitting on the fence about its direction before the trade deadline, the Cubs trailed the White Sox 7-2 at the outset of the fifth inning. Then, with a series of intense plate appearances and two exclamation-point home runs from Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger, the Cubs won 10-7, and Hoyer and Hawkins agreed, yeah, this lineup has the look of a contender.

Into mid-June, the Cubs fielded one of the worst offenses in the majors; on June 12, they ranked 22nd among the 30 teams in runs scored. Since then, only one team has scored more runs than the Cubs.

Total runs, since June 13:

1. Braves, 513
2. Cubs, 463
3. Astros, 460
4. Dodgers, 453
5. Phillies, 430

The Cubs have scored 10 or more runs 14 times in that span. Don't assume this is because of the wind gusting off Lake Michigan, driving the ball out of Wrigley Field. The Cubs lead the majors in runs generated this season without the home run, as researcher Paul Hembekides notes:

1. Cubs, 477
2. Rangers, 473
3. Rays, 463
4. Orioles, 462
5. Dodgers, 457

Here are six reasons the Cubs' offense has evolved so dramatically during the year.