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Cub Tracks Is Over The Hump

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Best of Lester, Soler power, and other bullets

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Featured Bleacher Creatures.
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Last time around, we played too, as the Cubs took a brace of games from the hapless Brewers, nearly shutting them out for two complete games in the process. So there’s already meatloaf on hand.

Given Wednesday’s events, we may be in for a double helping, served on a dustpan. Here are a few readables with which to while away your time before this afternoon’s contest. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Tim Eckert-Fong (Beyond The Box Score): Why do hitters rarely swing at first pitches from Kyle Hendricks? Ultimately unanswered, but an interesting look at possible reasons why.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Cubs push back John Lackey’s next start. Mike Montgomery will start Saturday at Colorado.
  • Bradford Doolittle (ESPN): Mike Montgomery settling into bullpen role just in time for Cubs. “I feel good about things right now, going out there with big smiles and performing,” he said.
  • Bradford Doolittle (ESPN): Joe Maddon not panicking over Cubs’ bullpen. “...two guys who are really good had bad days,” Maddon said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs place Joe Smith on DL with hamstring strain. Chris Coghlan also heads to the DL; Spencer Patton recalled, Trevor Cahill stays for now.
  • Jason Hammel’s MLB-best post-break ERA at 0.95. Hammel continues to impress.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Jason Hammel’s dominant outing, increasingly dominant season. Cubs’ starter continues to chip away.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): From cheat day to cheat code, second-half Hammel keeps rolling. “...the only run he’s surrendered in his last four starts was on a homer by White Sox pitcher Anthony Ranaudo.”
  • Ryan Davis (Today’s Knuckleball): Settling the Cubs’ postseason rotation debate. Davis has Hammel in the pen and Hendricks slotted for the second game at Wrigley.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Tommy La Stella ends holdout, reports to minors. Turn the page on this one, for now.
  • Tom Hitchens (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): “Sugar”, Tommy La Stella, and anticlimax. “...life’s dramas sometimes lack good plotting.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Gold Glove or gold medal? Anthony Rizzo on his acrobatic catch.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune*): Kris Bryant on Rizzo’s catch, La Stella. [VIDEO]
  • Chris Bahr (Fox Sports*): Anthony Rizzo’s amazing catch has become a hilarious meme. All Rizzo, all the time.
  • ESPN*: Anthony Rizzo joins Kaplan and Defalco. [AUDIO]
  • Jim Bowden (ESPN-Insider {$}): MLB’s best rookies this season. Willson Contreras makes the list.
  • Jerry Crasnick (ESPN*): Jonathon Papelbon expected to pick team within 24 hours. Jon Lester has talked him up. The Red Sox have also reached out.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Could Cubs clubhouse handle reputed bad boy like Papelbon? Joe Maddon “believes his clubhouse these days is strong enough to absorb [him] it without disruption.”
  • Jason Rowan (Sportress of Blogitude): Joe Maddon says Cubs haven’t discussed Jonathon Papelbon. He isn’t ruling out the possibility, but says he hasn’t heard anything.
  • Larry Scott (Today’s Knuckleball): Would Theo Epstein walk away from the Cubs? “...it’s easy to picture Epstein dreaming of greener pastures.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): In case you weren’t aware, MLB’s replay system is awful. “Matt Szczur was safe.” Looked that way to me.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Can you name which Cubs are best at catching and throwing and stuff? They’re not who we thought they were.
  • Todd Sabin (isportsweb): Is Jason Heyward comfortable as a Chicago Cub? “It’s safe to say Heyward is not living up to his expectations.”
  • Henry Druschel (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): It’s time for the Cubs to prepare for the playoffs. Eight weeks left to go, big division lead.
  • Tim Huwe (the zygote 50): Path of least resistance. The shortest distance between two points.

Food for thought:

West Coast swing coming up. Go Cubs go.