I suppose you're interested in what I think of Dan Straily as a possible future rotation piece after the Cubs' 7-3 loss to the Mets Saturday night in New York.
And the answer is, "I don't know," because one statistically-bad outing can't really tell you much about a pitcher. It was the most runs Straily had ever given up, majors or minors, although three of them scored after Straily had left the game in favor of Kyuji Fujikawa, who did his job by getting Juan Lagares to hit a catchable fly ball. Unfortunately, the ball went off Arismendy Alcantara's glove, scoring a pair of unearned runs and opening up a big inning for the Mets. Straily said later:
#Cubs Straily: "I was able to keep them off balance until I couldn't find the strike zone in the seventh"— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 17, 2014
At one point, Straily had retired 12 straight Mets and the Cubs had cut a 3-0 lead down to 3-1 with Welington Castillo's ninth home run of the year. The blast set career highs in home runs and RBI for Castillo, who is hitting .263/.404/.447 so far in August. This fits the pattern he started last year -- slow start, better second half. I'm still not convinced Castillo is the long-term answer for the Cubs behind the plate.
Back to Straily: he allowed just four hits, three singles and a double, but got himself in trouble in the decisive sixth inning with walks and a hit batter. (Sound familiar?) You'll note above that Straily understands exactly what got him into this trouble. Given the fact that he's had major-league success in the past, and the Cubs would like to see him as part of the future, he'll certainly be back and get more opportunities in September (or, possibly, even as a starter in one game of the split doubleheader August 30 in St. Louis, as the Cubs won't have to make a roster move to add a starter for that game, although Straily would be one day off-rotation for that one).
The Cubs actually had a pretty good shot at getting back into the game in the seventh inning. Justin Ruggiano's homer made it 7-2 and then four straight singles scored another run. Bases loaded, nobody out, tying run at the plate! Got to score at least one or two more runs there, right?
Uh, wrong. Chris Coghlan hit a fly to left that wasn't deep enough to score a run. Javier Baez hit a popup to first base and Anthony Rizzo popped to short and that, as they say, was that.
You're probably too busy panicking over a minor injury to Kris Bryant to worry about this result, anyway. Seriously -- Bryant will be fine, but here are the details:
X-rays on Bryant's left big toe were inconclusive. He will have MRI on Sunday. #cubs @IowaCubs— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 17, 2014
It's unlikely he has any sort of serious injury. He wasn't going to be recalled to the Cubs this year anyway, and should be fine for 2015.
Meanwhile, the big-league Cubs still have a chance to win the season series from the Mets. They swept the Mets at Wrigley in June and still have two chances, today and tomorrow, to avoid returning the favor. Sunday afternoon Jake Arrieta will take the mound against Rafael Montero. It was rumored the Cubs were interested in acquiring Montero by trade earlier this year. Game time is 12:10 CT; the game preview will post at 10:30 a.m. CT.