So! Many! Links! And I'll never look at cake the same way again. At least not this particular one.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Can Jake Arrieta be even better than he already is? Even he's not sure, but there are things that he'd like to do better.
- The run that Arrieta has been on continues to put his name in the hat for the Cy Young award, with Joe Maddon saying that Arrieta's current stretch of starts is "right up there with the best that I've seen."
- Theo Epstein thinks that the Cubs will be able to withstand the building playoff pressure, saying that there's "not a lot of weight to the clubhouse on a day-to-day basis."
- Javier Baez will need to get used to an adjustment compared to last season, the adjustment being that he probably won't be playing every day as the Cubs continue their playoff push.
- Maddon on Kyle Schwarber's strained rib cage: "We're gonna just chill a bit right now."
- Albert Almora was named the Cubs' Minor League Player of the Month after hitting .352 witha .917 OPS at Double-A Tennessee in August.
- Mike Olt is still in Chicago... on the South Side. He was claimed off of waivers by the White Sox on Saturday.
- Terence Moore says that the Cubs are for real... he just doesn't want to say it too loudly.
- What is one of Joe Maddon's keys to success? It's pretty simple: Get a good night's sleep.
- Last week it was the slider that propelled Jake Arrieta; this week it was the changeup.
- How can the Cubs -- or anyone, for that matter -- beat the Cardinals? Phil Rogers says that you need to bring your hitting shoes, because you're not going to out-pitch them.
- How do you follow up a no-hitter? Take part in a spoxing class. And no, that's still not a typo.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers sat down for a Q & A session with recent acquisition and speedster Quintin Berry.
- Jake Arrieta may not know just how good he can be, but Jon Greenberg thinks that with the way that Arrieta works, he'll probably find an answer.
- More discussion from Scott Boras who says that if the Cubs are willing, he has no problem with setting up long-term relationships.
- Joe Maddon was impressed with the performance of Javier Baez in Friday's blowout, saying that Baez "had a tension-free kind of game."
From CBS Chicago:
- Mark Grote writes that the Cubs' developmental phase is now over, with the nine-game and six-game winning streaks in August signaling the end.
- Bruce Levine writes that while Jake Arrieta may not have the national name recognition of Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, his performance has gained him a lot of fans as of late.
- Chris Coghlan is just grateful to be able to contribute in whatever manner is asked of him by Joe Maddon.
- Starlin Castro will continue to get starts against left-handed pitching, but against righties it's a whole different situation.
- However the lineup may shake out on a day-to-day basis, Maddon isn't afraid to be creative.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Just how good is the National League Central this year? There's only been one other division since 2001 that has had the top three teams be more games above .500 than the Central this season.
- Bernie Lincicome's at it again, writing that something will happen to break Cub fans' hearts because something always happens.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- The Cubs' versatility is continuing to pay dividends, with Joe Maddon saying that it provides the players with more opportunities now and also going forward in their career.
- Rick Telander writes a piece that seems unlike most of his other recent work, saying that while the effect of a manager on the win column may not be quantifiable, the intangibles are everything, and that's something that Maddon has plenty of.
- Rick Morrissey does wonder what will happen to Maddon's ever-positive approach if the Cubs have a season where they're not playing well.
- Gordon Wittenmyer gives a shout-out to Chris Bosio, saying that along with Lester Strode and Mike Borzello, the Cubs' pitching has reached a level that it would likely never have reached without them.
- Billy Williams was back in the dugout on Friday, talking hitting with Manny Ramirez and Miguel Montero.
- Just what is Kyle Schwarber thinking in this photo with Anthony Rizzo?
From Cubs Insider:
- Evan Altman writes that Jake Arrieta is a living, breathing cheat code, with his performance reaching levels almost as ridiculous as the writings of Bernie Lincicome. Notice the key word "almost" there.
- Kris Bryant is currently on pace to finish the season with 6.0 WAR, something that only five other rookies have done in the past 35 years.
- There were a lot of dominant pitching performances in the Cubs' farm system in August. Todd Johnson recaps the hot pitchers at each of the different levels.
- SB Nation sister site Minor League Ball features three Arizona Fall League prospects to watch closely including third-baseman Jeimer Candelario from Double-A Tennessee.
- [AUDIO] Len Kasper was on the latest episode of the Rob Neyer podcast.
- The Milwaukee Brewers have rescheduled their Fan Appreciation Night from October 3 to September 19... and the Cubs might just be to blame for it.
Today's food for thought:
- You may know serotonin as the chemical that can be used to lift depression and put people in a good mood. It's also the chemical that's in the venom of many animals.
- [VIDEO] It's the first footage ever of the vampire squirrel!
- And, finally... it turns out that German chocolate cake isn't actually from Germany.