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Cub Tracks Nicks The Bucs

Dave’s not here, nicknames, the Top 100, and other bullets.

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Javy being Javy.
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

In the last episode of As The Stomach Turns, Cub Tracks got a trifle indecorous, musing on the nature of breakfast, interior design, the playoffs, and biting other bullets, while the Cubs were concluding their series with the Reds in meatloaf fashion.

The Cubs are already off to a roaring start in Steel City, having routed the home team in the first of three. The Pirates are all but out of the playoff picture, being five games behind in the Wild-Card race with six games left to play. At least they won’t be able to lose the Wild-Card Game this year, cuz they won’t be running the table against the Cubs and Cardinals.

That honor will be left to one of the Redbirds, Mets, or Giants. The winner of this sandbox derby then gets the right to face the tanned, rested, and ready Cubs on their resolute march toward destiny. I’m not going to crown the Cubs now but I suspect events will go down like an Imperial margarine commercial. Then, next April 29th, The Cubs can proudly carry their nickname — the 2016 MLB Champs.

Because 4/29 is due to become International Nickname Day, if Len and JD are to be believed. I plan to celebrate that and all similar follydays with tongue firmly planted in cheek and under a grow light on the 20th of that month and conclude the festival with all the munchies, but that’s just me. Your smilage may vary.

Top 100 with a bullet! The Cubs’ hit parade keeps on rolling, bringing us some real good news. Dave’s not here, but I have the stuff. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Justin Breen (DNAinfo): Cubs Radio Engineer mixes sounds of Wrigley into Pat and Ron's broadcast. Dave Miska provides ambient noises to provide the broadcast with the necessary verisimilitude.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): What to make of 100-win Cubs? We'll find out in October. Indeed we will.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): What Cubs need to see during finals week before playoff test. “That fine balance between being rested and being sharp – we’re trying to thread that needle,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “There’s no guidebook for it.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Joe Maddon on what's to come for Cubs: 'Beat up the day'. “I don’t get caught up in the macro of the whole thing,” Maddon said.
  • Bradford Doolittle (ESPN*-Insider {$}): For the Cubs, 100 doesn't matter as much as 108. Run differential may be a better determinant than wins.
  • Adam Berry/Carrie Muskat ( 100 Grand! Slam seals century mark for Cubs. That was so beautiful. The sharp report, the arc of the ball, the inevitable trajectory.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Kris Bryant blasts 2-run HR, passes 100 RBIs. That was beautiful too. Bryant looked pretty happy rounding those bases.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Kyle Schwarber is not giving up on catching. “I still think I can bring some things to the table,” he said.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs leaning toward 11 pitchers in postseason. Joe Maddon said they want to include a long man just in case a starter is knocked out early.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Jon Lester’s big night and the Cy Young race. He’s definitely part of the conversation.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): This stat might win Jon Lester the 2016 NL Cy Young Award. Lester leads MLB with 21 starts of one or zero earned runs allowed.
  • Barry Rozner (Daily Herald): Greg Maddux sees himself in Cubs' Kyle Hendricks. "I'd rather watch him pitch than some lefty throwing 95 mph,” Maddux said.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): How Joe Maddon plans to use Aroldis Chapman in October. “Chapman ideally prefers to work in one-inning bursts rather than manufacture triple-digit velocity for four- and five-out saves.”
  • Carrie Muskat ( Jorge Soler, Aroldis Chapman among Cubs rocked by Jose Fernandez' death. Soler and Fernandez played together as youngsters in Cuba.
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times): Late Marlins ace JOse Fernandez has numbers to win Cy Young. He leads in fWAR and K per nine innings.
  • Jacob Nitzberg (ESPN): How have recent 100-win teams fared in the postseason? Almost obligatory to include this one in every edition until after the Series. Let’s hope the Cubs can buck the trend.
  • Jacob Nitzberg and Marty Callinan (ESPN): How do these Cubs compare to the franchise's previous 100-game winners? Pretty much limited to 1935 as far as comps go.
  • Bradford Doolittle (ESPN*-Insider {$}): Way-too-early playoff preview: How do Indians match up with Cubs? “One thing we know for sure is that if the Cleveland Indians end up playing the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, there will be a long-suffering fan base enjoying a glorious winter.”
  • Ryan Davis (Today’s Knuckleball): Cubs best and worst case scenario in NLDS: The St. Louis Cardinals. Cards aren’t as good maybe, but they’re not afraid.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Roll Out the Barrels: Several Cubs among league leaders in new metric. It’s a round ball and a round bat and...
  • Ryan Davis (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Dexter Fowler, near close of second Chicago season, remains irreplaceable. “As Fowler goes, the Cubs go.”
  • Marly Rivera (ESPN): Javier Baez' tattoos tell his story. Baez was 16 years old when he got his first tattoo in high school in Puerto Rico. Since then, he's added more than a dozen. Here are the stories behind each one.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times): Albert Almora, Jr waits patiently for answers about future with Cubs. “I’m a small part of such a big picture with this team, but it’s OK,” Almora said.

Food for thought.

  • Rachel Feltman and Sarah Kaplan (The Washington Post): Dear Science: Why can’t I tickle myself? The theory holds that the cerebellum anticipates the sensation and dampens the nerve signals.
  • Joshua Sokol (Science): Europa is spraying water into space, could be picked up by spacecraft. There’s a mission scheduled for the late 2020s that can do that and examine the water for signs of life.
  • Dom Galeon (Futurism): Quantum cat state finally captured on camera. “Schrödinger’s cat now outside the box.”

October is almost here. See you Thursday with more Cubs news.