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Cub Tracks gets ‘em coming and going

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Big Train derails again, the cure for the championship hangover, better booze through science, and other bullets

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
I had that other biscuit for breakfast today.
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Cubs Win! Three cheers for Cincinnati pitching and defense!

In our previous episode, Cub Tracks wuz robbed. Not so this time. Lots of fun at the old ballpark. Bryzzo raked, and so did Jon Jay. Mike Montgomery made better contact than Javier Baez until the eighth. Al will have the details in the recap.

I made a 5-gallon batch of beer today (chocolate espresso stout). It should be ready by the time the playoffs come around. If the Cubs make it, some of it will become blue. If they don’t, I will. Cuz I hate to be right.

Let’s see what the writers have to say about last night’s game, and the Cubs in general. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1916 - At Fenway Park, Red Sox southpaw Babe Ruth defeats Walter Johnson and the Senators in 13 innings, 1-0. After holding Boston to just four hits over the first twelve frames, Washington's 'Big Train' yields three more in the 13th, allowing Jack Barry to score the game's lone run.
  • 1945 - The Chicago Cubs routed the Brooklyn Dodgers, 20-6, at Ebbets Field. Paul Gillespie knocked in six runs with two home runs and a single to lead the attack.
  • 1964 - Mayor Daley declares "Ernie Banks Day" in Chicago and 26,000 fans cheer the Cubs' slugger. Banks then goes hitless as Pittsburgh wins 5-4.
  • 1975 - Earl Weaver is ejected twice by umpire Ron Luciano. The fiery Baltimore manager is thrown out in the first game of a doubleheader and is tossed again before the start of the second game.
  • 1989 - In his second start after coming back from cancer surgery, left-hander Dave Dravecky breaks his arm when he throws a wild pitch to Tim Raines in the sixth inning of the Giants' 3-2 victory over Montreal at Olympic Stadium.

Cubs news and notes:


  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Will the Cubs take advantage of a schedule that couldn’t look easier? “The 15-5 demolition Monday of the Reds at Wrigley Field was the first of 24 consecutive games the Cubs will play against teams that currently have sub-.500 records.”
  • Travis Sawchik (ESPN-Insider {$}): Ranking contender managers: Joe Maddon. “Among managers, Maddon is the reigning champion. The only thing he hasn't done yet is find a cure for a championship hangover.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): What sort of job has Joe Maddon done with this Cubs team? “The manager will either get credit for steering the team toward another division title – or the blame for a stunning collapse...”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Do Cubs starters’ velocity readings actually correlate to success? “...there are absolutely some direct correlations between velocity and performance.” Building on Five Thirty-Eight article.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jake Arrieta cites mechanics for 2nd-half success. "Fastball command," Joe Maddon said. "His velocity is ticking up, command is back, slider is back. The stuff is more familiar right now."
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times*): Who’s more effective, Jose Quintana or Jon Lester? Depends who you ask. “...your choice depends on what you want from the metric.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jed Hoyer: Russell's 'return is not imminent'. "He's coming along slowly," Hoyer said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): With Willson Contreras out, Kris Bryant getting 'locked in'. "It's something I worked on in San Francisco, that I want to do is stay through the middle," Bryant said.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kris Bryant brings the heat from Arizona desert to Wrigley. “He’s just looking more like KB,” Joe Maddon said. “That’s the best way to describe it.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs youngsters in Arizona League told to follow Kris Bryant's hustling example. "Respect 90 like KB," said Carmelo Martinez.
  • Patrick Mooney (Baseball America {$}): Dillon Maples typifies Cubs’ pitching development. "It's been a really good year for pitching development in our system," Theo Epstein said.
  • Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): Should Dillon Maples get called up? The answer is “is more complex than you might possibly imagine.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Cubs get creative in outfield for Joey Votto at-bat. He doubled anyway.
  • Jeff Todd (MLB Trade Rumors): Blue Jays to sign Brett Anderson. “Anderson still must undergo a physical before the deal is finalized.”
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times): David Ross to skydive at Chicago Air and Water Show. “...is there anything Ross can’t do?”

Food for thought:

  • Mitch Leslie (Science): Knee arthritis in Americans has doubled since 1940. “...almost 20% of people in the United States over 45 years old suffer from knee osteoarthritis...” I’m one.
  • Jacqueline Detwiler (Popular Mechanics) Better booze through science. “It's bedlam, and the next step is bringing it to your house.”
  • David Nield (Science Alert): This 107-year-old fruitcake found in Antarctica looks almost good enough to eat. “Sensibly, nobody has tried a bite.”

Thanks for reading. Cubs Tracks will return Thursday with more of this.