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Cub Tracks Was Robbed

Brewers put hold on bandwagon, and other bullets

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
Jonathon Broxton couldn’t do that
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In our last installment, we got into the moment, downed some Milwaukee ‘brews’, and put profanity in its place. Not bad for a day’s work.

Second-half Hammel showed up Tuesday night, though. That wasn’t so good. Even worse, the Brewers got meatloaf and Rizzo got robbed, Wednesday.

Let’s not dwell on that, especially since it’s a day off before three at Minute Maid Park and the wagon train has to travel. Jonathan Villar and Keon Broxton will be watching the Cubs from home, pretty soon. Let’s get back on the winning track Friday, pod’ner.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, people were writing things about baseball. Some of those things are corraled below. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Jose de Jesus Ortiz (St. Louis Post-Daily): Cubs' bandwagon grows by the day. “The Cubs are living such a charmed life these days, even their road games appear like home games this season.”
  • Pat Borzi (the New York Times): It’s the Chicago Cubs’ Year, in the Milwaukee Brewers’ Park. “It’s a great year to be a Cubs fan,” Ted Cap said.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Lack of drama down stretch won't spoil Cubs' division-clinching party. See, the Brewers did everyone a favor. Really really.
  • Mark Titus (The Ringer): Curses Don’t Exist: The Chicago Cubs Are Winning the 2016 World Series. “I hope the Cubs win so Cubs fans finally shut the hell up.” What makes him think that’s gonna work? XD
  • Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated): In-depth look at why Cubs have all the ingredients to end World Series drought. “Chicago is not just the best team in baseball this year but one of the best teams of the past few decades, and it is set up extremely well to win the franchise's first world championship since 1908.”
  • ESPN (Insider-{$})MLB Insiders Roundtable: Pennant race predictions, September heroes and stretch-run dark horses. Keith Law, Buster Olney, and Jim Bowden examine the playoff possibilities and predict how many games the Cubs will win.
  • Ryan Davis (Cheat Sheet): 4 Reasons it’s Okay If the Cubs Don’t Win the World Series. 2016 won’t be the last shot.
  • Mike Bauman ( Complacency not an issue for Cubs. “Depth big reason why they boast Majors' best record.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Central matters: Cubs chasing division history down stretch. The division record is why they’re so far ahead.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Having 3 Cy Young candidates means Cubs may wind up without prize. “I'd vote for all three,” said one Cubs pitcher.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Platoon splits make strong case for Travis Wood as a LOOGY. “A guy who can come in and handcuff lefty hitters in big games can be really valuable.”
  • Mike Petriello ( Edwards, Jr. helping turn Cubs' bullpen into elite unit. He’s a hit, and it’s hard to get a hit. “His 70.7 percent in-zone contact rate is second lowest in the majors.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Tryout or not, Jason Hammel can't be helping his cause for October. “I’m not trying to pitch [in order] to pitch in the postseason,” Hammel responded.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Jason Hammel’s ugly outing(s) and the looming questions. Seven guys will be competing for two or three spots.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): F—k it: Justin Grimm’s new attitude has keyed his resurgence in Cubs bullpen.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs’ postseason pen could be mightier than expected. “...a snapshot look at who’s going strongest in the bullpen...”
  • Matt Monagan (Cut Four): Munenori Kawasaki is back in the bigs, hitting doubles, blowing kisses. Kawasaki is now leading all Cubs with a .500/.500/.750 slash line.
  • Carrie Muskat ( For Albert Almora, a bit of deja vu with callup. Tonight, on ‘It’s The Mind’, we examine the fascinating phenomenon of Milwaukee.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Joe Maddon says Albert Almora Jr. is 'in the conversation' for October. No surprise that the brass is having a chin-wag, or that Almora has been mentioned.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): How Albert Almora Jr. could factor into October plans for Cubs. “Almora might be a tweaked hamstring or an oblique injury away from being the next man up.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Final Team Report of 2016: Iowa Cubs producing prospects that can play in Chicago. On a regular basis. A deep consideration of the roster.
  • Tim Huwe (the Zygote 50): Why is Tim Federowicz back? In order not to tax Willson Contreras, David Ross, and Miguel Montero.
  • Tim Huwe (the Zygote 50): Donde esta Jeimer Candelario? The reason why Candelario isn’t on the September isn’t obvious.
  • Matt Pettit (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Jorge Soler and Willson Contreras: The curse of Kris Bryant’s unreasonable standards. Bryant is outstanding in the field and leaves others out standing in the field.
  • John Perotto (Today’s Knuckleball): Rumors & Rumblings: Kris Bryant is scouts’ pick for NL MVP. Four of five veteran baseball watchers agreed.
  • Ron Kantowski (Las Vegas Review-Journal): Kris Bryant could play all 9 positions in one game, if Cubs would let him. “He could become the fourth guy in history or whatever to do it,” Mike Bryant said of his son playing all the positions during one setting. Fifth, actually.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune*): Anthony Rizzo makes power play for playing time. “I’ll have to try to fight my way to get in there, especially after hitting two home runs,” Rizzo said. “Those have been a little scarce for me lately. This felt good.”
  • Ryan Davis (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Better pitch selection might help Jason Heyward. Wouldn’t hurt. “...there’s no reason to believe that the problems with Heyward at the plate can’t be solved...”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Matt Szczur nearly quit baseball over academic, athletic demands. “Football was my scholarship,” Szczur said.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cubs execs reportedly drawing interest for Twins GM vacancy. Jason McLeod and Shiraz Rehman could be considered top candidates.
  • Barry Rozner (Daily Herald): Theo Epstein expects Chicago Cubs contract to happen. "Tom (Ricketts) and I have a great relationship, want the same things," Epstein said via text Tuesday night. "Expecting it to happen."

Food for thought.

  • Daniela Hernandez (The Wall Street Journal): How simplicity can unveil insights in Art and Science. “...take a complex idea and look at a simplified version of it to see what truth you can distill.”
  • Ian Sherr (CNet*): Star Trek turned Robert Picardo into a giant science nerd. "I'm a doctor, not a nightlight,” he famously said.
  • Edd Gent (Live Science): New 'Gel' may be step toward clothing that computes. “...the material itself is the computer.

Let’s round up those Astros and launch them rockets, Bryzzo. Houston, do you read? See you Sunday.