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Cub Tracks Toasts Ravioli With Blowtorch

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Bats on fire, butterflies, Joe Maddon makes remarks, talking about walks, and trusting the process.

Throws gas, puts out fire.
Throws gas, puts out fire.
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Ravioli, pierogi. Set fire to noodles. Serve 'em with meat loaf.

* autoplay warning

Flush the fashion.

  • CBS Chicago: Joe Maddon not a fan of MLB's plan to adjust strike zone. Maddon likes baseball the way it is and doesn’t want to see a crucial element of the game change.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Wearing a cup is no slam-dunk for these Cubs. A poll taken in the Cubs clubhouse revealed that some do and some do not.
  • Josh Noel (Chicago Tribune): Kris Bryant dishes on life outside of baseball. "...mostly we're boring. We sit on the couch and watch TV."
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Let's talk a little about Albert Almora and walks. Almora hasn’t taken a walk in a month. But the lack of walks may not hold him back as much as you might otherwise think.
  • Larry Scott (Today's Knuckleball): A message to Cubs fans -- RELAX. "While it’s reasonable to root for your favorite team to win every game, it’s unrealistic to actually expect it to happen."

Chipped blue plate.

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Why Cubs can't take Jake Arrieta's brilliance for granted. "Arrieta proved he’s not a cyborg on Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium..."
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): A wild and crazy idea: Jake Arrieta for future Hall-of-Famer.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs have baseball's best rotation, but do they need to improve it anyway? "For my money, the answer is a solid no."
  • Rian Watt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Anthony Rizzo is going through a thing. "...if you trust the process—you shouldn’t be worried."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): The 'Butterfly Effect' of Jason Heyward's return to the lineup. ""He’s not hitting .300, so obviously people think that he’s not playing well, which is so far from the truth," Joe Maddon said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs monitor an injury-thinned summer market for pitchers. "We’re aware that pitching in general is something that every team needs around the deadline," Jed Hoyer said. "And I’m sure we’ll be in that group. And we’ll keep working hard to see where it’s going to come from."

Palate, palette, pallet.

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Justin Grimm takes 'defensive highlight' off bucket list. Grimm made a nifty Blackhawks-worthy glove save on Tuesday night. "I'm sure he practices that in the offseason in his living room," manager Joe Maddon said. "He's one of those guys definitely capable of bizarre in the bizarro world that he lives in."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Can Jason Hammel sustain All-Star level performance? "I believe it’s sustainable, absolutely," Joe Maddon said.
  • ESPN: Jason Hammel joins Carmen and Jurko. [AUDIO]
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Day before turning 35, Ben Zobrist continues impressive hot start. Zobrist extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
  • Gunther Dabynsky (Cubs Den): Unexpected nailbiter -- Bears 9, Rams 8. "The Cubs extended their lead over the third place Cardinals at the end of the day, but not without adding a few gray hairs to their fans." I didn't know the Rev. Spooner wrote for Cubs Den. It has seemed like a while since the Cubs won a series.

Miscellaneous.

  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports): How the Cubs are helping a family member through a terrible time. Minor-league consultant Mike Roberts lost his wife of 46 years, and the Chicago Cubs organization decided to do something to help.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times): Cards aren't giving up chase of Cubs...for whatever that's worth. "The eight games separating the Cubs and the Cardinals might not do justice to the size of the gap between them."
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Kris Bryant’s stats remarkably similar to last year, which is a very good thing. "Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, but when luck runs out you’d better make damn sure you’re still good."
  • Cat Garcia: (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Is Ben Zobrist Superman? No, but he's pretty awesome. A spitcurl and glasses probably wouldn't help.
  • Randy Holt (The Outside Corner): Is Kris Bryant becoming an elite defender? "...we’re seeing Bryant develop into a completely well-rounded player capable of making an obscene amount of noise at the plate, but also providing the steadiest of gloves in the field, regardless of his position."
  • Eno Sarris (Fangraphs): Ben Zobrist on being in sync. "I’m just seeing the ball really well," he said.

Food for thought:

Off-day today. Better-than-they-are-supposed-to-be Phillies coming to town.