The Cubs were so bad last night I have writer’s block. In the old days I’d light up, play some Grateful Dead, read something by Charles Bukowski, and wait for something to come to me, but I’ve neither the luxury nor the time this morning.
Final: Royals 13, Cubs 2. pic.twitter.com/cNgW0hxZrz
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 7, 2020
“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all…” – Bukowski
If anything, the Cubs proved a few things while getting pasted 13-2 by the Royals last night:
- Even the best teams have bad days, and few are worse than what we witnessed in yesterday’s game;
- I hope you wrote down “Tyler Chatwood, 2020 Cy Young Award winner” in pencil;
- A starter getting blasted out of the solar system by one of the weaker teams in baseball sure takes the heat off of a suspect bullpen, at least for one day;
- Craig Kimbrel, who actually lowered his WHIP from 4.80 to 4.15 despite giving up a run on two hits and a walk in one inning of mop-up duty, still can’t navigate a clean inning even when the opposition has stopped caring;
- It’s obvious the Cubs were looking past Kansas City as they prepared to travel into the coronavirus shitstorm that is St. Louis; and
- Nobody wins every game, 10-3 is still a hell of a record, and the Cubs have still not lost a series.
It’s best to just hose the carcass off the driveway and pretend the stink has left the vicinity. We should have expected that at some point Chatwood would stop pitching like 2015 Jake Arrieta, but how he rebounds is probably more important. Even the best pitchers have forgettable games, the good ones don’t string them up in multiples.
The Cubs will mask up, head to the Gateway City, and hopefully teach the Cardinals a lesson or two in proper pandemic etiquette by winning another series. Division games are of utmost importance, especially against their biggest rival and last season’s NL Central champions. Personally speaking, I’m sad I cannot refer to them as the Dead Birds this season because of fear of bad karma taking precedence over ill will.
Cubs News & Notes
- Who did the Cubs get for Jorge Soler again and where is he now? Soler has become a complete hitter and he certainly has no problem proving that to the Cubs.
- Kimbrel believes David Ross still trusts him and also believes he knows what to do to get back on track (subscription to The Athletic required).
- The Cubs signed relievers Kelvin Herrera and Matt Dermody yesterday and assigned each to South Bend. Dermody hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017.
- Rex Brothers and Justin Steele were also assigned to the team’s minor league camp in order to trim the roster to 28 players.
- One would think Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are going to need to make a significant move or two if they intend to improve their bullpen.
- Injured starter José Quintana threw a 35-pitch simulated game yesterday.
- The Cubs have not ruled out adding Quintana to the bullpen rather than the rotation.
- With the promotion of Nico Hoerner to the bigs, the Cubs have just three prospects in the MLB Pipeline Top 100, though I suspect a few more will be added in time for the offseason edition.
- Jonathan Mayo is quite impressed with minor league outfielder Brennen Davis, and believes he has a legitimate chance to be the top prospect in all of baseball by 2022.
- Jon Lester takes the bump against the Cardinals tonight as the Cubs look to get back on track. He’ll square off against Daniel Ponce de Leon in the series opener. Lester has a 2.62 ERA in nine career outings at Busch Stadium.
Apropos of Nothing
No matter how bad things seem, the song Tempted by Squeeze will always cheer you up, especially if you sing along at the top of your lungs. Our automobiles are one of the few remaining safe havens away from our homes, and I have no problem cruising the streets of Bay View in demonstrably epitomable fashion with an obnoxiously loud stereo.
Odds and Sods
Though this looks like a dress rehearsal for a bad early ’90’s video, have you ever noticed how football players stop looking like football players once they retire?
On this date in 1999, 3-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Lawrence Taylor headlines the class inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Other members of that year's class include Eric Dickerson, Tom Mack, Ozzie Newsome and Billy Shaw. pic.twitter.com/G1jJqVyN1g
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 7, 2020
How About That!
Though it’s only two weeks into the season, most teams know their weaknesses and will look to potentially upgrade ahead of the August 31 trade deadline.
The Astros are cheaters, but the way the scandal has been basically brushed aside could be part of a broader societal problem.
Teams are running wild against the Angels this season because most of their pitchers have unusually slow deliveries.
The Phillies had fans in attendance – with air horns no less – in their game against the Yankees yesterday, though they weren’t exactly inside the ballpark.
Thursday’s Three Stars
- Dylan Bundy – The heralded 27-year-old starter is finally coming into his own, and it looks like the Angels have a bona fide ace to bo. Bundy punched out 10 Mariners hitters in a 6-1 complete game victory yesterday, throwing 76 of 107 pitches for strikes without issuing a single walk.
- Jorge Soler – Last year’s AL home run champion went yard off of Dan Winkler in the 7th inning last night, capping a 3-for-5 evening. Soler also plated another runner on a ground out to third that caught Kris Bryant by surprise.
- Christian Yelich – The White Sox pitched around the MVP candidate five times yesterday, issuing four BB and getting the slugger to strike out on a pitch well outside the zone. The one time they didn’t, Yelich hit a bizarre inside-the-park home run. ChiSox outfielder Eloy Jiménez got caught in the outfield netting and looked like a harpooned tuna.
Sliding Into Home
My good friend, fellow Deadhead and transplant recipient Erin Fitzgerald, is selling custom-made, tie-dye masks with all proceeds going to the Rizzo Foundation. If you can spare $10 to help a great cause, order up.
They’re selling like hotcakes, so go to her donation link and get one before she runs out.
We can all learn a lesson from Vic Caratini: The best way to keep getting regular playing time is to emulate your skipper.
We knew Vic's slide yesterday looked familiar! pic.twitter.com/zT3ZnoClzu
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) August 6, 2020
They Said It
- “It’s no secret that I’ve struggled my first couple outings. I started off having problems finding the plate and then having a hard time with hard contact and missing bats. But communication [with Ross] has been great. I think that’s the reason we’re going to be able to work through this so well. He still has trust in me and knows what I can do. He obviously sees I’m doing what I can to get back right and make the pitches I need to make. Me knowing he has that trust in me helps out a lot. I’m gonna figure it out and he knows that.” – Craig Kimbrel
- “We all know what is unfair. What happened there is fundamentally unfair. The World Series became unfair, and no one knows what to think about it.” – actor Kevin Costner
Friday Walk Up Song
Light Up or Leave Me Alone by Traffic – Sometimes the Cubs will do that to you.