Eleven and four is not so bad. Kyle Hendricks went five-plus. Randall Grichuk ruined Anthony Rizzo's first bid for a home run, but nobody was touching the second one. Let's hope Rizzo's breaking out of his slump.
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Two to tango.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Sports*): Cubs looking to change balance of power in rivalry. "This is (April), and it’s already heated," Jason Hammel said. "It’s the best rivalry in baseball."
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Sports*): John Lackey will add more fuel to Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. "Lackey is a new scowling face of the Cubs, glaring at hitters and punctuating plays with a "F--- yeah!"
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Musings on the new Cubs-Cardinals rivalry and the Cubs' relentless approach. "There comes a point when that intimidation factor vanishes and when it does, you just can't get it back."
- Bob Nightengale (USA Today): John Lackey, Cubs show turning point in rivalry with Cardinals. "I kind of like this sort of situation,’’ Lackey said, grinning.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo battling BABIP issues, primed to break out. "The BABIP giveth and the BABIP taketh away."
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Jason Heyward proving that defense matters. "Heyward's bat might be quiet, but his glove and arm are as loud as ever."
- Cat Garcia (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): You go, we go: How Dexter Fowler is helping to set the tone for the Cubs' brilliant start. "Fowler continuously reminds folks each game that his unexpected, late off-season return in 2016 shouldn’t be taken for granted."
- Jerry Burnes (Beyond the Box Score): Kris Bryant has one completely ridiculous home/road split. "...he was a little bit unlucky on the road when he did make contact."
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Sports*): Cardinals fans won't bother Jason Heyward. "...Some people are going to say what they’re going to say... " he said.
- Chris Cwik (Big League Stew): Cubs 'try not to suck' shirts may cause Cardinals to alter policy. The organization has a long-standing policy that prohibits clothing featuring the word "suck" or "sucks" at the ballpark, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs-Cards: the best -- and worst -- of baseball fandom. "There’s small-minded people everywhere, man," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. "There’s stupid people everywhere. It’s not unique to one spot in one ballpark."
- CBS Chicago: 'Try not to suck' t-shirts create stir at Busch Stadium. "...some fans who wore the shirts were, at least initially, denied entry to Busch Stadium by ushers..."
"It’s much better if the fans make a big deal out of it. Let someone blow your horn, and the sound travels twice as far." -- Joe Maddon.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Kyle Schwarber keeping an eye on his team after surgery. Schwarber tweeted support during the game.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Ben Zobrist receives World Series ring. Dayton Moore drove from Kansas City to St. Louis to present it to him personally.
- ESPN: Joe Maddon likes being in the NL Central [VIDEO]
- ESPN: Facts and feats from 100 years of Cubs baseball at Wrigley. Wednesday was the 100th anniversary of the first Cubs game at Clark & Addison.
- Matthew Trueblood (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Why aren't the Cubs following their preseason plan for pitchers? "Because of the low pitch counts his starters are maintaining..."
- AP: Images of Milt Pappas over the years.
- Anna Marie Kukec (Daily Herald): Cubs' RizzOs cereal knocks it out of the Jewel park. "I can confirm that some stores have sold out of RizzO's," said Jewel-Osco spokeswoman Mary Frances Trucco.
- Eric Mauro (Cubbies Crib): Will the Cubs target an outfielder before the trade deadline? Bruce Levine said a few words, and these are a few words about those words.
- Ben Godar (Viva El Birdos): If the Cubs threw the 1918 World Series, it was a Cardinal that fixed it. Good facts with a bit of Cardinals Devil Magic spin.
Food for thought:
- Tom Siegfried: (Science News): Humans have pondered aliens since medieval times. "Where is everybody?" -- Enrico Fermi, paradoxically speaking.
- National Science Foundation: First-ever fossil monkey found in North America.
- Nadia Kounang (CNN): More athletes donate their brains to science. Researching CTE.
On to Cincinnati. I'll pass on the chili.