In our last installment, we “committed to memory”, ruminating about Aroldis Chapman’s arrival, the Crosstown Classic, Heyward’s funk, and other bullets. We split the meatloaf with the White Sox, and Dioner Navarro and Anthony Rizzo made a mess of the plate. On this nearly august occasion, we of the Cub Tracks production team are fishing for reasons why we lost yesterday’s game.
Cub have looked pretty good coming out of the break, except for the brief spell at the Cell — and I don’t blame them for that. I’d hate to be in that place too. Otherwise they’ve won series after series, which is the way to get to the promised land of postseason meat loaf, which will presumably be composed of a better grade of beef and perhaps feature bacon.
All that said, let’s get to the meat and potatoes for today. Several sources say Brian Matusz might be brought up for a start, but that was unconfirmed at press time. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
So I've decided I'm going to donate $10 to a Chicago domestic violence org every time Chapman gets a save.— Caitlin Swieca (@CaitlinSwieca) July 28, 2016
The story unreels.
- Ariel Cheung (DNAinfo*): When Aroldis Chapman gets a save, this woman donates to anti-domestic violence.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): My thoughts on Aroldis Chapman. “...why don't we add peace, comfort, sanctuary, relief, and tangible support in whatever way we can?”
- Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Joe Maddon trying to build a relationship and trust with Chapman. “From my perspective, what I’m trying to do right now is build a relationship with this guy so he starts trusting me,” Maddon said.
Fish are biting.
- Bradford Doolittle (ESPN*): Cubs have righted the ship, but they need their ace to climb on board. Um. Looked damn good Saturday.
- August Fagerstrom (Fangraphs): The other compelling Cubs reliever acquisition. A few words about Carl Edwards, Jr.
- Todd Sabin (isportsweb): Chicago Cubs: Is the bullpen elite now? A qualified yes.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quantifying Hope: Cubs believe playing six-inning games will key run. Reasons to be cheerful, part one. Thank you, Ian Dury.
- Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Brian Matusz living out a childhood dream. Matusz grew up a Cubs fan in Arizona.
Wave after wave.
- Luke Norris (Inquisitr): Cubs utility man not happy about being demoted. Tommy La Stella made the mistake of having options left. I wouldn’t be happy if I was him, either. I bet he tears up Triple-A.
- Tim Huwe (the Zygote 50): La Stella and Coghlan trade places. “Freeze.” More on Coghlan. It looks like Coghlan is being showcased. Somebody besides Oakland might be interested.
- Matt Peck (Sports Mockery): Cubs fans skeptical about questionable roster decision. Eh. Chris Coghlan hasn’t performed well, but it’s about MiLB options.
- Ryan Davis (Today’s Knuckleball): Cubs have few options left with Jorge Soler, Chris Coghlan, and Trevor Cahill. Still ongoing concerns despite the recent demotion of La Stella.
- John Sickels (Minor League Ball): One year of Javier Baez. Minor League Ball community discussion. Points raised.
- ABC News: Chicago Cubs: Lessons from a rebuild. Learn Loud — details inside.
The reel thing.
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Cubs reportedly “in pursuit” of a Rays starting pitcher. Persistent rumor this time stems from Jim Bowden, but Marc Topkin agrees, which gives it weight.
- Todd Johnson (Cubs Central): 48 hours to go: will the Cubs go and get a starter? “Sooner or later, the Cubs will have to get more pitching...” Indeed.
- Nicholas D. Blazek (Cubbies Crib): What areas are still the focus prior to the deadline? Multi-page warning. Basic overview.
- ESPN — INSIDER ($): Trade deadline predictions. A panel of experts prognosticates.
- Ryan Davis (Today’s Knuckleball): Chicago Cubs’ best and worst midseason trades. So long, Bobby Hill. Buh-bye, Jon Garland.
- Doug Kern (ESPN): The week in interesting and unusual Cubs stats. .600 after 100 and other tidbits.
Grace under pier pressure.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): On the psychological nature of Jason Heyward’s struggles. 90% of the game is half-mental, as they say. Heyward is letting the pressure exceed the pleasure.
- Evan Massey (Inquisitr): Cubs’ Kris Bryant leading NL MVP race. But he’s in a tough battle.
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Addison Russell ready for another playoff stretch drive. After last year’s events, Russell has a better perspective.
- Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Iowa’s rough season still provides hope for next year. Started out like the 1985 MLB season, with four out of five starters going down, bit by the injury bug.
- Robert Villareal (Baseball Essential): Cubs’ prospects still rising after Chapman trade. Still plenty of talented farmhands.
- Cat Garcia (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): In the background, Anthony Rizzo continues to improve. “Consistency can be mundane. “
- Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Anthony Rizzo’s letter to a cancer patient is the best thing you’ll read all day. Why it’s last.
Food for thought.
- Stephanie Pappas (Live Science): Mysterious purple sea orb stymies scientists. Sea tribble? It can take months to find out.
- Hallie Golden (The Week): The science of why we like — and dislike — certain music. Boils down to consonance. Dissonance is heard as unpleasant and jarring, like the rhyme of the ancient mariner.
- Daniel Clery (Science): Forbidden planets: Understanding alien worlds once thought impossible. For astronomers, this is Sutter’s Mill time.