“Sweeter than wine. Softer than the summer night.” – The Drifters, This Magic Moment
It’s a shame Kyle Hendricks didn’t get his no-hitter on Saturday. I was really rooting for him and it would have been a nice addition to a very good résumé that we often forget The Professor has built. At least the Cubs took two of three from the Giants to finish 4-6 on their California road trip. Yesterday’s 13-3 loss to San Francisco is immediately forgettable and the Cubs will start a six-game homestand tomorrow with two of baseball’s more surprising teams, the Pirates and Orioles.
Cubs News & Notes
- Hendricks was four outs away from his no-hitter, which would have been the team’s first since Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Craig Kimbrel pitched a combined no-no on June 24, 2021.
- Hendricks reflected on the moments that led to his stellar performance against the Giants, including his long recovery from a shoulder injury.
- Yesterday’s loss was about as ugly as it gets for Cubs fans, though they at least won the series.
- Marcus Stroman said he appreciates the love from the fans and their pleas on social media for the team to extend him. That’s not a priority for the organization, at least not now, despite several attempts by Stroman’s team to engage the front office.
- Stroman has indicated that he prefers to remain with the Cubs above all other options.
- Yesterday’s blowout loss to San Francisco showed just how much the Cubs rely on their starting pitching.
- Seiya Suzuki was a scratch for the second consecutive game, though no injury or ailment report has been provided by the team.
Odds & Sods
A great effort by Quinn Matthews without a doubt, but shouldn’t college coaches show a little more concern? Throwing 156 pitches is not legendary, it’s ludicrous.
Not big time… LEGENDARY!
Quinn Mathews IS Stanford!
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 12, 2023
- St. Louis: The Cardinals remain in last place in the NL Central and poor fundamentals are the biggest reasons why.
- Milwaukee: The Brewers were swept by the A’s over the weekend, proving once again that nobody really wants to win the division.
- Cincinnati: The Reds smell blood in the water and might be interested in Royals relievers Aroldis Chapman and Scott Barlow.
- Pittsburgh: The Pirates are expected to recall righty Osvaldo Bido for their three-game set against the Cubs.
Climbing the Ladder
“White lies in those blue eyes, goodbye is on the way.” – Bullet, White Eyes, Blue Eyes
The Cubs were 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and their starting corner infielders, Matt Mervis and Patrick Wisdom, are beneath the Mendoza Line. Chicago’s two runs came on an error and a fielder’s choice. Hayden Wesneski looks like he still needs some more seasoning at Iowa as Joc Pederson took the rookie hurler deep twice on Sunday.
- Games Played: 65
- Record: 28-37 (.431)
- Total Plate Appearances: 2,472
- Total Strikeouts: 604
- Strikeout Rate: 24.43%
- Team Batting Average: .243
- Runs Scored: 274
- Runs Allowed: 287
- Chances of Making the Playoffs: 13.3%, < 0.1% to win the World Series
How About That!
The Phillies and Padres are finally starting to look like playoff contenders, though both teams are still fighting an uphill battle.
Owen Poindexter of Front Office Sports reports that MLB is just as responsible for the A’s mess as the team is.
The Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Orioles are expected to all be buyers at this year’s trade deadline. Who would have predicted that?
Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz says he’s “the fastest man in the world” and generally speaking, players with 80-grade raw power don’t move as quickly as he does. The shortstop was 71-of-94 on stolen base attempts in his minor league career.
The Reds are now a must-see team thanks to De La Cruz.
The Reds did not intend to scout their rookie phenom and kind of lucked into finding him.
Shane McLanahan is the first pitcher this year to reach double-digit wins.
Sunday’s Three Stars
- Pederson – The ex-Cub was 4-for-4 with four runs scored, four RBI, and two home runs.
- Andrew McCutchen – The veteran Pirates outfielder was just 1-for-3, but the hit was the 2,000th of his career. He is the fifth active player to achieve that milestone, joining Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Nelson Cruz, and Elvis Andrus.
- Mitch Keller – The Pittsburgh starter has become a true ace. He had seven strikeouts in seven innings of two-hit ball as the Pirates edged the Mets 2-1. Keller is now 8-2 on the season.
It’s nice to see the mini-breakout by Christopher Morel.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 11, 2023
Monday Morning Six-Pack
- Several Bears players drafted in 2020 are due contract extensions this year, including Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet, so GM Ryan Poles has some important decisions to make.
- You come across a lot of weird headlines in this job, but “Conor McGregor sends Heat mascot to ER” ($) in The Athletic is among the oddest.
- One of the most notorious American criminals in history, Ted Kaczynski (aka The Unabomber), committed suicide on Saturday in prison at 81 years old, the AP reported. Kaczynski was suffering from late-stage cancer.
- The Bonaroo Music & Arts Festival starts this week and Sunday is Father’s Day, which probably isn’t as coincidental as it seems.
- A 13-year-old is credited with saving her siblings while they survived for 40 days in the Amazon jungle before being rescued on Friday night.
- Janis Joplin was not a fan of the Rolling Stones, apparently.
They Said It
- “I knew I had been feeling good and making a lot of good pitches. But just to get the results adds to that confidence level. Again, you have to have some good self-evaluation. There were some really hard-hit balls there in the beginning and some balls over the middle of the plate. There’s still a lot of room for improvement. But the fact that I just feel like myself — I’m feeling comfortable out there — that’s the biggest positive.” – Hendricks
- “I’m just being straight up and real and honest with the negotiations. I want nothing more than to be a Cub. I kill myself 24/7 — on and off the field — to perform well, to keep my body in position, keep my mind in position. I truly believe I prepare like nobody else, so I know my worth. We’ve been going to the front office from spring training, very open that I want to be here. We’ve continued those thoughts. Up until now, there’s been nothing from their side. No offers, no talks, really, at all.” – Stroman
Monday Walk-Up Song
If you are unaware of Michael Kiwanuka, you should do a little exploring. I’m here to help.