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Cub Tracks, in short

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Bryant’s big game, Schwarbird won’t back down, surface tension, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals
That was close!
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Cubs WIN, though not without a little late-inning drama.

Last Cub Tracks, the Cubs filleted some fish. This time, they appeared before a National audience and prevailed. The back end of the bullpen almost gave it up. Al has full details.

Not a lot of traffic Monday night, on the links, anyway. We’ll go with quality over quantity...Kyle Hendricks feels better, Jason Heyward and Addison Russell don’t, and Cub leadoff hitters are adept at spotting the gopher ball. Trade talk is starting to heat up. Do the Cubs really want Sonny Gray? Read all about it -- As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Baseball History:

  • 1930 - At Philadelphia's Shibe Park, Jack Quinn becomes the oldest player to hit a home run in major league history. The A's pitcher is nine days shy of his 47th birthday when he connects for the solo shot.
  • 1940 - To honor the lyricist of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Jack Norworth Day is celebrated at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. Norworth and his partner Albert Von Tilzer, who wrote the music, had never seen a game when they created the song in 1908.
  • 1980 - Dodger southpaw Jerry Reuss, facing only 28 batters, no-hits the Giants at Candlestick Park, 8-0. Shortstop Bill Russell's errant throw on Jack Clark's grounder with two outs in the first inning deprives the 31-year-old left-hander from tossing a perfect game.
  • 2016 - Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant becomes the third major leaguer ever to collect five extra-base hits in one game, and the first to do so with three home runs and two doubles. The 24 year-old Chicago infielder's Great American Ball Park offensive output joins the ranks of Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton (Camden Yards, 2012) and Braves first baseman Joe Adcock (Ebbets Field, 1954), who both hit four homers and a double to accomplish the feat.
  • Happy birthday -- Jim Edmonds, Daryle Ward

Cubs News and Notes:

Albert Almora's successful squeeze play tonight was the third RBI by the Cubs via a bunt play this season, tied for the most in the majors. In fact, since Joe Maddon took over as manager in 2015 the Cubs have the most RBI (16) in baseball on bunt plays. — Jesse Rogers

  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs scout’s son on life support after being hit by baseball. “Jason Lockhart was placed on life support Friday and put in a paralytic state at Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta to help stop any movement that would encourage or cause more bleeding.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs show why they are defending champs while Nationals still have something to prove. “...we’re attending with a different group than we thought we would be attending this party with,” said Joe Maddon.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kyle Hendricks throws pain-free, eyes mid-July return from DL. ‘‘It was good just to go out finally and be asymptomatic and to feel the ball and not have any pain in there,’’ said Hendricks.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Eddie Butler’s inconsistent first eight starts leave us wanting more. “...how well has he actually performed for the Cubs?”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Even the Cubs' biggest stars are struggling to drive in runs. "More than anything, it's trying to do too much, as opposed to just score one," Maddon said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Kris Bryant might wind up as Cubs' lone All-Star representative. "It's reflective in our performance to this point," said Maddon.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kyle Schwarber on demotion: ‘I’m not going to back down — trust me’. “The numbers spoke for themselves,” he said Monday.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cut on Jason Heyward's hand needs time to heal. "I'm not to the point where I can do everything swinging yet," Heyward said.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): If Nationals are playoff preview, what should Cubs do at trade deadline? “If Theo and Jed can find a way to make our team better, you can bet they’re going to do it,” Chris Bosio said.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Will Cubs pursue Athletics’ Sonny Gray on trade market? “The Cubs are one of a handful of teams that are considering making an offer for Gray.”

Food for thought:

  • Bruce Bower (Science News): Sound-reflecting shelters inspired ancient rock artists. “Acoustic data suggest early European painters preferred echo chambers.”
  • Michael Price (Science) How chimps outmuscle humans. “Humans may have traded strength for endurance, allowing us to travel farther for food.”
  • Matthew Robert Bennett (Scientific American): How to build the perfect sandcastle -- according to science. “It’s all down to the surface tension of water...”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Thursday with more news and notes.