“Have you ever felt a pain so powerful, so heavy you collapse?” – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Impression That I Get
Winning and losing alternate games is one of the more excruciating things to watch, and as a Cubs fan, if they’re not going to go out and kick some ass, I’d rather watch them implode and just blow the whole thing up. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand any game the boys in blue lose, but I feel like I’m watching a team that is bleeding to death one lonely drop of blood at a time.
Just rip those protective adhesive strips off and get it over with. Nobody likes to witness a slow death, and if we are going to be forced to look ahead to future seasons, can’t we just get started already? I actually had a dream last night where Kyle Hendricks was traded to the Angels, Craig Kimbrel to the Astros, Kris Bryant to the Dodgers, Anthony Rizzo to the Giants, and Javier Báez to the Mets. It wasn’t as nightmarish as it sounds, though. In my dream, Jed Hoyer was somehow able to offload Jason Heyward and Ian Happ to the Red Sox, and Zach Davies to the A’s.
Hoyer won’t trade all of those players, but maybe he should. Fresh starts are almost always for the better, at least that’s what Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil have been saying while amassing millions of dollars. And as a lifelong Cubs fan, I’m perfectly willing to embrace the suck for the rest of this year in hopes of a better tomorrow. As a side note, I don’t know how well the Cubs and Padres match up in any potential deal, but if Hoyer goes to his safety-valve franchise to swing a deal, I hope he somehow nets minor league pitcher and fire-balling righty Justin Lange. We are all entitled to our wish lists.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 22, 2021
Watching the Cubs lose 3-2 to the Cardinals last night was about as boring as baseball gets. Shame on Eric Sogard for his game-tying double to send the contest into extra innings. That’s not tearing the band-aid off. All Sogard did was prolong the agony an extra 25 minutes, one agonizing drop of blood at a time. Whether the Cubs won or lost that tilt in St. Louis is of no matter to the long-term vision of the franchise. With no hope for a division title or Wild Card berth, and with a likely fourth-place finish in the NL Central, let’s just get to the moving on part, please, and thank you.
Cubs News & Notes
- Nico Hoerner is providing a glimpse of the future for life in a post-core world for Cubs fans. Hoerner will likely be the face of the franchise in a few weeks.
- Bryant was not available to pinch-hit last night and his status for tonight’s game remains unknown.
- The Cubs have good reason to be extremely cautious with Bryant’s situation with the July 30 trade deadline days away.
- Matt Duffy is expected to return from the IL today.
- A 10th-inning baserunning gaffe by Anthony Rizzo cost the Cubs a chance to in last night’s game.
- Hendricks was long gone by the time the Cardinals beat Kimbrel in extras, but he did extend his career-best unbeaten streak to 13 games.
- Rafael Ortega is making the most of his opportunity with the Cubs.
Odds & Sods
When the universe is pounding you over the head with a two-by-four, it might be time to pay attention. Write that down, Mr. Hoyer.
Cubs prospects, Brennen Davis and Christopher Morel both hit two dingers in last night's win. Davis went 2 for 5 and Morel went 2 for 4 with two, two-run home runs, scored three runs, and forced a walk. #SmokiesBaseball #GoSmokies #CubTogether pic.twitter.com/YAxhAY6hmC
— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) July 22, 2021
Climbing the Ladder
“All-day staring at the ceiling, makin’ friends with shadows on my wall.” – Matchbox 20, Unwell
- Games Played: 96
- Total Plate Appearances: 3,519
- Total Strikeouts: 924
- Strikeout Rate: 26.3%
- Team Batting Average: .226
The Cubs were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position last night. That’s not good. At least they only struck out six times.
How About That!
Baseball executives are expecting a “frenzy” at this year’s trade deadline.
The ban on sticky stuff for pitchers has not had the pronounced effect on the game as many thought it would. The game’s better pitchers have continued to be good despite the crackdown, and those who have faltered are probably incriminating themselves a little. In other words, cheating is overrated.
The Royals completed a four-game sweep in their season series with the Brewers.
Trade proposals by baseball fans are equally fun and frustrating.
How many fights have broke out at Guaranteed Rate Field this year? Asking for a friend.
Wednesday’s Three Stars
- Marcus Stroman – The Mets hurler one-hit the Reds over eight innings in earning his seventh win of the year. Stroman struck out seven and allowed just one walk.
- Jorge Polanco – Nothing like filling up the box score on a 3-for-4 night with three runs scored, three RBI, a home run, a double, and a stolen base. The Twins second baseman assisted in four double plays, too.
- José Altuve – The Astros second baseman is on a tear, and last night was 2-for-4 with two RBI, including his 23rd home run of the season.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatís Jr. are both on pace for 50+ home runs this season, and are both 22 years old. The record for the most home runs in a season, at age 22 or younger, is 47 by Eddie Mathews in 1953 (pending inclusion of Negro Leagues stats). pic.twitter.com/45HeEZjGj2
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 22, 2021
They Said It
- “So we’ve been playing really good baseball overall, and that’s where we’re at. We’re getting back to playing games the right way. … Our focus is all out here. That’s kind of what [manager David Ross] has been saying to us too. The nature of baseball is guys come and guys go. Whether guys come into the clubhouse and you’re welcoming them, or guys take off and go on to their next chapter, you just enjoy the time you have with guys. So that’s where we’re at. Enjoying each day that we have, and whatever happens, happens.” – Kyle Hendricks
- “[Brennen Davis] is just a great guy and someone I really look forward to having a chance to play with at some point. And [Single-A shortstop] Ed Howard. I hit with him some this offseason. He’s a little further behind obviously just being drafted [in last year’s first round].” – Nico Hoerner
Thursday Walk-Up Song
Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out) by Citizen King. Appropriate.