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Cub Tracks Flees Across The Desert

The man in black, the men in red and blue, and other bullets.

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." — Stephen King

It’s too bad the movie can’t be made with Johnny Cash and Kirk Douglas as the leads. Did you ever see A Gunfight? If not, there you go. Anyway...

Last time through the depot, we prepared to battle dark magic as the Crimson Cult came to town. In the first game, The Cubs did some conjuring of our own, with Chris Coghlan performing a singular bit of legerdemain and Anthony Rizzo walking-on and -off.

Friday, they bombarded the bleachers with baseballs while Jake Arrieta did some gunslinging of his own, putting the idea that the Cardinals would somehow win the series to a quick and merciful end behind the long-ball barrage.

Yesterday, the Cubs succumbed in the late innings and ended their streak of wins at eleven. I was gonna eat dinner at Carls Jr., but decided not to, after that.

Today, they hope to start a new streak against the Deadbirds before a day off and a series against the Brew Crew. A west coast trip is looming. Here are a few things to fill your infotainment needs. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Carrie Muskat ( Joe Maddon: Tommy La Stella will need Triple-A at-bats. Neither side has changed their tune.
  • Doug Kern (ESPN): The week in interesting and unusual Cubs’ stats. Assorted individual datums.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): That's not a fire; that's just how hot the Cubs are right now. Joe Maddon continues to breed success by playing his entire roster.
  • Scott Spratt: (ESPN -Insider {$}): Kris Bryant by the numbers: A five-tool player. "From 'three-true-outcomes' player to MVP favorite."
  • Doug Mittler (ESPN): MLB Rumor Central: Joe Nathan attracting strong interest? Recently DFA’d player did himself some good, according to a Jon Heyman article.
  • Robert Davis (Cubbies Crib): Young arms on the farm ready for a big league chance. Carl Edwards Jr may have company soon.
  • Dave Holcomb (Today’s Knuckleball): Jorge Soler worth monitoring in all formats. Fantasy baseball perspective on Soler’s return.
  • Ryan Davis (Today’s Knuckleball): Pedro Strop injury shouldn’t hurt the Cubs too much. Cubs need to discover who else can man the bullpen. Strop should be back before the playoffs.
  • CSN Chicago*: Joe Maddon: I’ve been kinda boring lately and I like that. The manager hasn’t had to do so much.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): As Cubs take off again, Jake Arrieta rounding into October/Cy Young shape. "We want to be playing our best baseball going into October," he said.
  • Ryan Davis (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Pierce Johnson, developing as a reliever, awaits Wrigley call. He’s done well with the role change but may need more time.
  • Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Trevor Cahill’s role: the back-up man with a plan. "...he said he is comfortable and doesn’t have much preference between starting and relieving."
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Hottest Cubs prospects in the second half, part 2 – The Hitters. Bijan Rademacher leads an impressive list.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Could Armando Rivero be an option for the Cubs? Possible, but not likely. Still, there’s some justification for the idea.
  • Dan Fappiano (Sports Mockery): Cubs should bolster their bullpen by adding former six-time All-Star. Wow. Jonathon Papelbon? Really?
  • Nicholas D. Blazek (Cubbies Crib): Matt Szczur’s rise to part-time star. Szczur has a good niche as a backup and pinch-hitter.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): No longer a numbers game as Jason Heyward focuses on end game. His teammates want him in the lineup every day, for his defense and leadership.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Cubs rolling like fog as Cardinals fade away in rear-view mirror. "The Cubs aren't just winning these days, they're providing their own metaphors."
  • Stephen Cohn (isportsweb): Pedro Strop injury helps bullpen in long run. Other players get to show their stuff.
  • Billy Witz (The NY Times): A long history of heartbreak shadows the Cubs’ dominant season. "It’s always going to be something that lingers over their head until they prove it otherwise," Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter said.
  • Rob Johnson (CBS Chicago*): Rabid Cubs fans use players’ numbers to win Powerball. Brad and Kim Brunk have played the same numbers for 19 years. They finally came up.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Cubs still looking for additions. "You never stop looking to add good players," Jed Hoyer said Saturday.
  • Dane Placko (Fox32): Cubs make dreams come true for 5-year-old battling leukemia. Brandon Hinojosa got to step on Wrigley Field’s grass.

Food for thought:

  • Philip Ball (The Atlantic): The tyranny of simple explanations. Occam’s razor can make unkind cuts.
  • Peter Dockrill (Science Alert): Scientists just found the part of your brain that actually gets physics. Not all of your brain is confused by physics. There’s even a jenga test.
  • Seth Borenstein (AP): Junk food fight: Science tests how birds compete for Cheetos. "...while it is fair to say that the early bird gets the Cheetos, they don’t get to keep it."

Thanks for reading. See you Tuesday for a brew and a brat.