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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs LOSE to Padres.

Don’t Panic! — The Chicago Cubs

Welcome to the cyberpunk scenario we all live in. No fair crying Wolfe. Last time around, Cub Tracks gave you the whole avocado, on toast. No mansions. Special sauce, lettuce, cheese, onions. Hold the manbun. Take the blue pill, of course.

A certain pessimism is in the air. The Cubs are not out in front by fifteen games and it has people worried. The future that was so bright seems to have acquired a patina, become penumbral. This is what happens the day after the day after you win the World Series, after expectations have been raised to the limit.

Panicking is widely seen as a bad move. Remember that the baseball gods are just as vast, cool, and umsympathetic as Martians or your random Lovecraft character. As capricious as dear old Azathoth, all chaotic energy, and there’s no way to get stochastic other than statcasting. Tarot cards might be as accurate as data. Let’s just hope that the eight of pentacles is turning up soon, and in the meantime, let’s look at the news.

Today we have news of Babe Ruth’s last MLB game, old favorite the “struggling rotation” (great band name), and then we learn of the fastest way to chill beer. This just in -- The Padres are bad. Read all about it! As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Baseball History:

  • 1894 - After going 0-for-6 in the first game of a doubleheader, Beaneater Bob Lowe becomes the first major leaguer to hit four home runs in one game, helping Boston to beat Cincinnati and Elton 'Icebox' Chamberlain, 20-11.
  • 1904 - At Cincinnati's Palace of the Fans, 32 year-old Cubs first baseman Frank Chance is plunked by a pitch five times during a doubleheader. In the first game of the twin bill, the future Hall of Famer loses consciousness briefly when one of the misguided pitches hits the 'the Peerless Leader's' head.
  • 1922 - After being traded for one another between games of a doubleheader, Chicago outfielder Cliff Heathcote and Redbird right fielder Max Flack exchange their Cardinal and Cub uniforms. The pair will both get hits for their new teams in the nightcap of the Cubs Park twin bill, which is swept by the home team, 4-1 and 3-1.
  • 1925 - Between games of a doubleheader against Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, second baseman Rogers Hornsby, who will continue to be an active player, replaces Branch Rickey as the manager of the Cardinals. Rickey will remain in his role as the team's general manager, a position he will hold until 1942.
  • 1927 - Cubs' shortstop Jimmy Cooney completes an unassisted triple play as he snares Paul Waner's liner, steps on second to double up Paul's brother, Lloyd, and then tags Clyde Barnhart coming from first for the third out.
  • 1930 - Rogers Hornsby receives his MVP award and is given a thousand gold coins by National League president John Heydler at a ceremony at home plate prior to the Cubs' contest against St. Louis. Ironically, the ‘Rajah’ will break his ankle while advancing to third base during the Wrigley Field contest and will not play again until the middle of August.
  • 1932 - After dropping a twin bill, some White Sox players accuse George Moriarty of deliberately blowing calls against their team. The umpire, a former Pale Hose player himself, challenges them to a fight, but after he knocks down pitcher Mike Gaston with one punch, skipper Lew Fonseca and backstops Charlie Berry and Frank Grube even the score by thrashing the aggressive arbitrator.
  • 1935 - Babe Ruth plays only the first inning of the opener of a doubleheader between the Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies at Baker Bowl. It is his final major league appearance.
  • 1943 - With contests played in Rockford (Illinois) and Racine (Wisconsin), the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League begins the first season of its 12-year existence. The original AAGPBL four-team circuit, which also includes the war-production cities of Kenosha (Wisconsin) and South Bend (Indiana), will attract 176,612 baseball enthusiasts during the league's inaugural season.
  • 1970 - All-Star voting is returned to the fans, as computerized punch-card ballots appear in stores and ballparks coast to coast. Since 1958 the All-Star squads had been selected by managers, coaches, and players.
  • 1992 - Yankees' hurler Scott Sanderson beats the Brewers, 8-1, to become the ninth pitcher to defeat all 26 teams in the majors. The 6'5" righty joins Nolan Ryan, Tommy John, Don Sutton, Mike Torrez, Rick Wise, Gaylord Perry, Doyle Alexander, and Rich Gossage in accomplishing the feat.

That’s right! Baseball used to be even screwier than it is now.

Cubs News and Notes:

"I don't see any reason to worry, especially given what we did last year," reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant said. "There is no need to worry. You're going to have your good years, you're going to have your bad years. Your good starts, your bad starts. This is an average start; it's not a terrible start. Sometimes it happens. We've spoiled ourselves with last year and that start. I guess it's a good thing to have those expectations because we do, too." -- Jesse Rogers

  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs bring in Chicago’s top chefs to redesign ballpark cuisine. “Peanuts & Cracker Jacks? Not with this group!” Tweeted Rick Bayless. Sounds good.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Joe Maddon thinking shake-up for Cubs? ‘I have no idea what that would be’. “Everybody’s proverbially trying way too hard,” Maddon said.
  • Joe Posnanski (Joe Blogs): Cubbies still searchin’. “We have to become more efficient moving the baseball,” Maddon says.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): The biggest surprise for the 2017 Cubs? A struggling rotation. “The starting pitching was not to our standards,” Maddon said of the first weeks of the season.
  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): What did we learn about the Cubs in their second series with Dodgers? “Here are three things...”
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Important to maintain perspective as Cubs struggle to find 2016 form. “This team wasn't built with a two or three year window in mind. They were built to sustain success indefinitely. so let's not lose that perspective.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Jake Arrieta has actually been really good, primed to be better. “Arrieta’s high ERA is the product of two factors: 1) an unsustainable fly ball rate and 2) an unsustainable home run rate.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Kyle Hendricks accepts responsibility for one bad inning that extends Cubs' skid. "We put it on us," Hendricks said. "It starts on the mound. We're the ones with the ball in our hands. We have to stop it. Regardless of how the offense is going, if we throw up zeros, we've got a good chance of winning."
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Can we just take a minute to note how good Brian Duensing has been? “Through 17 appearances, Duensing has thrown 22.0 innings and posted a 3.27 ERA, a 3.25 FIP, and a 3.07 xFIP.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Pitchers have adjusted already to Ian Happ: Pitch him up, up, up. “We’ll see if Padres pitchers keep pounding the top of the zone against Happ, and whether he’s able to adjust this quickly, or if it’s going to take more time.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): How long will Cubs let Ian Happ struggle in big leagues? “I have no preconceived notions on how long to stick with somebody or not,” Maddon said.
  • Tom U (Cubs Den): Jeimer Candelario: Patience in the moment. “Candelario took some time to talk about his experiences and current situation.”
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Jason Heyward is who we thought he was. “...it’s hard to not be excited about the early returns for the Cubs’ right fielder.”
  • Andy (World Series Dreaming): Early Season Schedule not cutting struggling Cubs any breaks. Provides some data for conjecture.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Joe Maddon has no choice but to ignore the noise and put his faith in young Cubs lineup: ‘If you want to freak out, freak out’. Great googly-moogly. “Oh, please, let them freak out,” Maddon said, tongue in ‘Chic’.
  • Anthony Spaulding (MLB Daily Dish): A look back at the 2015 MLB Draft. Ian Happ and more.

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading. We’ll catch up with you on the flip side.