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Lefty left off, Go Time, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins
Put tartar sauce on THAT!
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Cubs Win! Jon Lester gets his first-ever W over the Marlins.

Does that mean Fish Loaf? That doesn’t even sound good. Like a huge fish stick kinda thing? Ew.

But wins are good. Especially over the Marlins, who are one of the teams that I have special detestation for. The Cubs can win again today and that would make me happy. Wasn’t too happy to see that J.T. Realmuto long ball but Jon Lester manned up after that. Good team win with several players manning different positions than usual, and guys going oppo. Al has written all about it.

Cub Tracks just does the news. I’m not Chevy Chase, and you’re not, either.

Joe Maddon was surprised by the huge ovation hometown guy Anthony Rizzo got from the Marlins crowd when he pinch hit in the ninth inning on Saturday: "I was looking around," Maddon said. "Did someone walk in the door? Was it ARod and JLo? I didn't know who came in at that point. No, it was Anthony. That was pretty cool." -- Jesse Rogers (ESPN)

It was. There were a lot of blue jerseys in that crowd. In other news:

Joe Maddon said he doesn't expect Ben Zobrist (wrist) back in the lineup for their next series in Washington. He's in Chicago getting treatment right now and could go on a rehab assignment before returning. — Jesse Rogers (ESPN)

Ian Happ looks pretty good at that spot, and Javier Baez does too. The gallery talks about those and other things. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Baseball History:

  • 1903 - Boston Beaneater Wiley Piatt becomes the only 20th-century pitcher to lose two complete games in one day, falling to Pittsburgh 1-0 and 5-3.
  • 1904 - George Diggins, the New England League Concord (NH) Marines' nine-year-old mascot, participates in their Class B game in Lowell when the team's second baseman becomes ill and its center fielder is ejected. The youngest professional player in the history of the game doesn't have an opportunity to field any balls playing right field and strikes out in his only at bat in the contest played at Alumni Field, which was also known as Spalding Park.
  • 1924 - Pirates left-hander Emil Yde's double ties the score in the ninth inning. Five innings later, the Pittsburgh reliever's triple in the 14th frame beats the Cubs at Forbes Field, 8-7.
  • 1937 - Augie Galan becomes the first National Leaguer to hit a homer from each side of the plate. The switch-hitter's pair of round-trippers, a homer from the left side off Freddie Fitzsimmons in the fourth frame and from the right side in the eighth against Ralph Birkofer, helps the Cubs beat Brooklyn at Wrigley Field, 11-2.
  • 1950 - Hank Sauer enjoys a 4-for-4 day at the plate, stroking two home runs and two doubles. The 33 year-old All-Star outfielder's 12 total bases help the Cubs defeat Philadelphia at Shibe Park, 11-8.
  • 1972 - After a five-year legal battle, Bernice Gera finally becomes the first woman professional umpire when she works a minor league game in Geneva, New York. When Auburn manager Nolan Campbell vehemently argues a play where she first signals Terry Ford safe at second on a double play and then reverses her decision, the new arbitrator is brought to tears and will resign between games of the twin bill.
  • 1986 - The Phillies give 41-year-old Steve Carlton his unconditional release and call up Bruce Ruffin to take his place in the starting rotation.
  • 1989 - The Mets' defense does not record a single assist in a 5-1 win over Philadelphia, tying the major-league record set by the Indians in 1945. New York pitchers retire the Phillies on 13 strikeouts, 12 fly outs, and two ground balls to first base.
  • 1995 - The Astros rout the Cubs, 19-6, to set a club record for runs in one game. After scoring a lone tally in the fourth, Houston puts up crooked numbers for the rest of the game, including a nine-run eighth inning.
  • 1998 - Sammy Sosa breaks the major league record for homers in a single month when he hits his 19th dinger in June, a seventh-inning solo shot off Brian Moehler in the Cubs' 6-4 loss to Detroit at Tiger Stadium. The Chicago slugger surpasses the mark set by Rudy York, the Tigers' rookie catcher who finished with 18 after homering twice on the last day in August in 1937 at the same ballpark, when it was known as Navin Field.
  • 2007 - A distraught fan jumps onto the field and charges the mound toward Bob Howry after the Cub reliever blows an 8-3 ninth-inning lead to Colorado at Wrigley Field. The fan will be make it a few feet from his intended target before security guards tackle him, and the right-hander will get the win when Alfonso Soriano hits a game-ending two-run single in the bottom of the frame to give Chicago an improbable 10-9 victory.

Cubs News and Notes:

The Cubs are wasting little time in signing their picks from the recently completed 2017 Major League Draft. After announcing the signing of their top pick, left-handed pitcher Brendon Little, on Thursday, they locked up second-rounder Cory Abbott (among others) on Friday.

  • Jim Callis (MLB.com): Cubs first-rounder stops No. 1 team in CWS. Alex Lange breezed through 7 1/3 innings of a 3-1 win over No. 1 national seed Oregon State.
  • Alex Vigderman (ESPN Insider {$}): Ranking MLB defenses: Which teams have an edge? He considers Kris Bryant a weak link but the Cubs a top-ranked unit. The Rays and Red Sox also occupy the top tier.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quantifying hope: Cubs still boast 84 percent playoff odds. Still behind teams that aren’t even leading their divisions.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Jon Lester: It’s go time for Cubs. “It’s a test for everybody,” Lester said.
  • Travis Sawchik (Fangraphs) Jon Lester might be beating the yips. “It’s not like you can hide from it,” Lester said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Why Jon Lester could be the game changer for the Cubs’ season. “The results are going to come,” said Lester.
  • Joe Ostrowski (Daily Herald {$}): Chicago Cubs' rotation starting to deliver. “Maybe, just maybe, the wait for consistency from the starting rotation is over.”
  • Glenn Sattell (MLB.com): Maddon rests Rizzo, talks keeping Cubs fresh. "He's been going after it pretty hard being the leadoff hitter. I think he's done a wonderful job, obviously. So, don't want to beat him up,” he said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Still the GLHOAT, Anthony Rizzo won’t be ‘Wally Pipped’ after day off. Rizzo will be back in the leadoff spot Sunday afternoon.
  • Glenn Sattell (MLB.com): Javier Baez maturating at the plate. "I think my power is to right-center; I know it," Baez said.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Joe Maddon on Ian Happ: ‘Pound for pound, man, he’s got as good a power as I’ve seen’. “...he seems to rebound very quickly. Strong-minded. Strong-willed. Very confident individual,” Maddon continued.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider) Ian Happ’s adjustments producing obvious results. “A bulk of that improvement came against high pitches...”
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Kyle Schwarber demotion, Jason Heyward injury pressure Cubs to remake outfield. “This is quite a shakeup, and it deserves attention.”
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Maintaining perspective regarding Kyle Schwarber. His .193 BABIP is likely to improve.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): A journeyman’s tale with a Chicago Cubs connection. Alan Zinter never quit.
  • Danny Ecker (Crain’s Chicago Business): Cubs owners face legal hurdle on naming rights to Wrigley plaza pub. “...putting the name of a beer brand on a standalone tavern outside the confines of an entertainment venue raises questions about whether it would constitute a "tied house," under which a brewer would illegally control the brands a retailer sells.”

Food for thought:

  • Elizabeth Pennisi (Science): A surprisingly simple explanation for the shape of bird eggs. “The shape of a bird’s egg depends on how much its species flies.”
  • Tina Hesman Saey (Science News): Scientists spy on the secret inner life of bacteria. “On the surface, bacteria may appear bland. But there’s more going on inside than meets the eye, new research is revealing.”
  • Matthew Hutson (Science): Curiosity rover decides—by itself—what to investigate on Mars. “Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS)” is what the software that it runs is called.

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Tuesday with more of this kinda stuff.