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Cub Tracks keeps pace

RIP Ray Chapman, more mental than anything, binge-watching Netflix, and other bullets

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Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cubs Win! Well, that was fun.

Previously, Cub Tracks had ‘em coming and going. Today, they’re running in place. First place. The Cubs continue to lead the NL Central after a wild game with the Reds. Al has the recap. Thomas Smith will have Heroes and Goats. I’ll have the usual.


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Hahaha. August fool.

Seriously -- I get why Joe Maddon had a conniption. Here’s today’s selection of the important stuff. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1894 - The Phillies rout the Colonels at the Philadelphia Baseball Grounds, 29-4. Louisville right-hander John L. (Jack) Wadsworth sets a National League record by giving up 28 singles in one game.
  • 1920 - Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman dies as a result of being hit by a pitch thrown by Yankee submariner Carl Mays. The tragedy remains the only on-field fatality of a player in major league history.
  • 1947 - The Lowell Orphans, a bankrupt minor league team moved from Lawrence, MA last month, draws only 85 paying customers to a doubleheader. The team's poor performance, which includes a twenty-game losing streak, causes the city to evict the New England League franchise from Alumni Field, making it necessary for the club to finish the season on the road.
  • 1957 - Richie Ashburn, known for his ability to foul pitches off, hits spectator Alice Roth twice in the same at bat. The first one breaks her nose, and the second one hits her while she is being removed from her seat on a stretcher. Ironically, she is the wife of Earl Roth, the sports editor of the Philadelphia Bulletin. The Phils win 3-1 over New York.
  • 2008 - Josh Hamilton becomes only the sixth major leaguer to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded. Rays' manager Joe Maddon's decision to give the Rangers' slugger a run-producing free pass in the ninth inning is successful when Tampa Bay goes on to win the game in Arlington, 7-4.

Cubs news and notes:

Cubs No. 7 prospect Thomas Hatch put together a strong start for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, allowing one run on two hits in five innings. The right-hander threw 57 of his 90 pitches for strikes, walked two and struck out six. — William Boor (

The more I hear about Hatch, the more I like him.

So there’s that, Nick Cafardo. Koji Uehara went on the disabled list Wednesday with a neck strain, though there aren’t any indications that it’s a major injury (via Mark Gonzales).

Would you want Curtis Granderson? I’d demur.

  • Carrie Muskat ( Kyle Hendricks regains edge with scoreless start. "That was more typical of Kyle," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It was a lot better tonight -- all the things I've been working on came to fruition," Hendricks said.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs’ John Lackey at 38: serving up long balls, racking up victories. ‘‘There isn’t really anything to it,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m just pitching.’’
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Could John Lackey return for another year with the Cubs at age 39? “Knowing him, how competitive he is, if he finishes strong I could see him considering coming back,” said Maddon.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): How Carl Edwards Jr. regained his confidence and killer instinct out of Cubs bullpen. “It’s more mental than anything,” Edwards said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Cubs are getting a lot right -- but aren't plating runners from third. “The Cubs need to score runs from third base with less than two outs...”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Ben Zobrist still trying to get right, but those wrist issues persist. Taking off from Patrick Mooney article. “...wrist issues tend to really negatively affect a batter’s ability to drive the ball...”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Cubs Quick Hits: More contact could mean Javier Baez being Manny. “Joe Maddon opined that Javy Baez could one day be like Manny Ramirez if the powerful, young slugger is able to lay off low sliders.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs don’t see finish line for Addison Russell yet: ‘I don’t think that there’s any rush’. “This has been a difficult season for Russell.” Russell explained to ESPN that it’s “a bad case of plantar fasciitis.”*
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Kyle Schwarber is learning to trust himself again at the plate. "I'm just trying to simplify things down, especially when it gets to two strikes," he said.
  • David Haugh (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Be careful counting out Kyle Schwarber as man to make a difference for Cubs. "I'm a confident person and still believe in myself," Schwarber said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs outfielder Jon Jay OK with versatile role. “I feel comfortable in every spot,” Jay said.
  • Kenny Kelly (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Ian Happ’s role down the stretch. “...a supporting role...” until/if he starts hitting again.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Less is more: Why Joe Maddon is telling the Cubs to show up late. “Taking 50 swings or 100 swings has nothing to do with our success right now,” Maddon said.
  • ESPN: Behind the numbers: Stories of how MLB players picked their uniforms. Albert Almora, Jr, Kris Bryant, and Jason Heyward are quoted.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Count Bryant among Joey Votto's biggest admirers. "He's the best player ever," Bryant said of Votto.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Who might Cubs add when rosters expand in September? Six players the Cubs could call up for the final month.
  • Michael Ernst (Cubs Den): A look ahead: Potential September call-ups. Larger cast of characters.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register): Dillon Maples tuning out talk of possible call-up. “Maples has had a crazy career.”
  • Dan Szymborski (ESPN-Insider {$}): Breakout hitting prospects of 2017. He’s bullish on Victor Caratini.
  • Eric Longenhagen (Fangraphs): Updated Top-10 prospects lists: NL Central. Adbert Alzolay heads up the roster.
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports): Yankees, Phillies, Cubs have ballparks that Giancarlo Stanton would enjoy to call home. But that contract is another matter.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Rick Renteria got a Cubs World Series ring. Who else deserves one? Some of these are questionable but the question might be worth thinking about during an idle moment.

Food for thought:

It has been our pleasure to serve you. Cub Tracks will return Sunday in time for first breakfast.