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Cub Tracks Plays Through

Dedicated to Carl Spackler, for no reason whatsoever. I have pounds of this stuff. Plus Cubs news.

Not at liberty to disclose
Not at liberty to disclose
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Today, for the first time, I Googled "Cubs news" and the last Cub Tracks article came up first. I may not have total consciousness, but I've got that going for me. I had to take a screenshot, cuz it may not happen again. Small victories...

Speaking of which: In Philly, Kris Bryant's homer turned into a triple, then a double. Nearly a theoretical cycle. Jason Heyward hit his 100th homer. It looks like Heyward and Anthony Rizzo are heating up. Jorge Soler hurt his leg again. Maybe should have left Lester in for another inning -- The Phils' second four-run inning of the year. Cheese mistakes! Cubs hang on for the win.

Box score.

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Featherbed Bent.

  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs' first draft pick to come in third round. "'s not as if a team can't find good talent there." Excellent, detailed article.
  • ESPN*: Week Nine power rankings. It's the same story at the top of the rankings, as the Chicago Cubs remain the only No. 1 team we've had this season.
  • Sports Mockery: Talented players linked to Cubs trade rumors in last seven days. Here’s a list.
  • Tim Britton (Baseball Prospectus): Prospectus Q&A: Jason McLeod, Cubs VP of player development and amateur scouting. "Jason McLeod's first-ever draft pick as a scouting director was Dustin Pedroia, 65th overall in 2004. Since that point, in stints with the Red Sox, Padres and Cubs, McLeod has overseen the selections of talents such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Anthony Rizzo, Joe Ross, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber."

Pay no attention to that bush.

  • Cody Stavenhagen ( Travis Wood giving Cubs solid lefty in bullpen. "The ball's been coming out good," Wood said. "I've been fortunate enough to keep getting outs and haven't let anyone score. We just have to keep grinding and keep rolling."
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): The Cubs' record pace and some surprising reasons for it. Kyle Hendricks, Dexter Fowler, Ben Zobrist among the "reasons" mentioned.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): There's a hot catcher in the Cubs' system , and his name is...Ian Rice. "...this guy did not just pop onto the scene. I think we are only beginning to see what he can do and I look forward to him staying healthy in the second half."
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Wellington Castillo believes Willson Contreras can handle the pressure of being everyday catcher with the Cubs. "He was always good," Castillo said. "He's getting better as he matures and gets older and learns how to control the game a little bit more."

My enemy is a varmint.

  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Joe Maddon says he didn't 'outmanage' Chip Hale. "Chip did the right thing, what he was supposed to do, and I was just trying to do what I thought was the right thing in the moment,": Maddon said.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): What the Cubs wouldn't trade for Andrew Miller, Yankees not ready to sell. "...there would definitely be a ceiling to what the Cubs would offer in a deal for Miller, whose price tag would be steep."
  • Toni Ginnetti (Chicago Sun-Times): It's not the abode, but the road bodes well. "The number of Cubs fans in other cities surprised Maddon at first last season but no longer."
  • Rian Watt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Hello from the other side: dispatch from a former Cub. "They’ve got a good club over there," Darwin Barney said. "I can only hope that we can run into them in the World Series, and then we’ll see what happens."

It's in the Hole!

  • August Fagerstrom (Fangraphs): Jake Arrieta's dominant, dreadful start. "On a per-batter basis, it was arguably the most overpowering performance of Arrieta’s career."
  • Luis Medina (Bleacher Nation): Ranking the Chicago Cubs' bullpen, checking in on batted ball rates and pitch selection. "...the bullpen has polarizing rankings in some important categories."
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Joe Maddon empathizes with Ryan Howard. Maddon revealed Monday that he was indirectly involved in a "bad moment" during the 2008 World Series at Citizens Bank Park when he managed the Rays.
  • ESPN: Charles Barkley taking batting practice. [VIDEO]

Food for thought:

Middle game of the set tonight.