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Chicken Wolf and the dog, three out of three, diamond rain, and other bullets

Walk on, walk off.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Cubs off-day.

First one thing, then another. Cub Tracks rolls on. Also available in aerosol.

Commentary is still sparse. But some good things turned up. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1886 - Louisville's Chicken Wolf hits a game-winning home run thanks to a stray dog tearing at Reds' Abner Powell's pant leg, causing the center-fielder to miss the ball.
  • 1917 - In a 22-inning contest against the Dodgers, Pirates' outfielder Carson Bigbee sets a major-league record with 11 at-bats. The game was also the fourth straight extra-inning game played by Pittsburgh (total of 59 innings), which set a National League record.
  • 1933 - Bill Veeck suggests the idea of a mid-summer series of interleague games and proposes a split-season schedule format. Although the Cubs’ president's concept of games between two circuits receives some support, Senators owner Clark Griffith opposes the proposal, calling the American League a major league not in need of grandiose schemes he deemed as "Hippodrome stuff".
  • 1946 - Clubs approve a change to a 168-game schedule, but they will rescind the decision at another meeting September 16. Television is first recognized, with clubs given rights to their own games. Players jumping to outlaw leagues will not be allowed to apply for reinstatement for five years.
  • 1965 - Juan Marichal thinks Johnny Roseboro throws too close to his head returning the ball to Sandy Koufax and attacks the Dodger catcher with his bat. The Los Angeles backstop suffers cuts on the head during the 14-minute brawl.
  • 1968 - After walking on a 3-2 count which included pitches sailing over his head to the backstop and a ball being thrown behind him, Dick McAuliffe charges the mound and drives his knee into White Sox hurler Tommy John, causing the pitcher's shoulder to separate. Tommy John (10-5, 1.98) will be lost for the rest of the season, and the Tigers' shortstop is suspended for five games and fined $250 by A.L. president Joe Cronin as a result of the bench-clearing incident.
  • 1982 - The Cubs pay tribute to Ernie Banks when the team retires the outfielder's uniform number (14) that he wore for 19 seasons. The Hall-of-Famer, who retired in 1971, is the first player in the 106-year history of the franchise to be honored in this manner.
  • 1989 - On a 96 mph fastball, A's Rickey Henderson swings and misses, making Nolan Ryan the first pitcher and only major-league pitcher to strike out 5000 batters. The 'Ryan Express' strikes out 13 and gives up only five hits, but loses the game to Oakland, 2-0.
  • 1992 - In the seventh inning of a Class A Florida State League contest, the Clearwater Phillies string together two walks and two sac bunts to score the game's only run, beating the Winter Haven Red Sox, 1-0. Opposing minor-league hurlers Andy Carter and Scott Bakkum do not give up any hits, making it the first professional game to be hitless in 40 years.

Cubs news and notes:

“The Cubs are the first team this season to win a game after trailing by multiple runs in extra innings. Teams were 0-50 in those situations before Sunday. The Cubs were down 5-3 in the tenth before winning 6-5 on a walk off hit by Alex Avila. — ESPN Stats and Info

  • Vinnie Duber (CSN Chicago*): Mike Montgomery will gladly aid Cubs as spot starter, but could this be a mini audition for 2018 rotation? “I don’t want to see anybody get hurt, especially our ace. But it’s a challenge. I’m looking forward to going out there and helping the team win,” Montgomery said.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Brian Duensing, bullpen star? For now, Cubs lefty quietly killing it. ‘‘I’ve got all four pitches that — knock on wood — are working at the same time,’’ he said.
  • William Chase (Cubbies Crib): Bargain buy Brian Duensing pays huge dividends. “Duensing has proven to be among the most consistent, and valuable, Chicago Cubs’ relievers.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Rene Rivera glad to play for grandfather's favorite club. “...I grew up watching the Cubs. It's an honor for me to be here, a team he loved so much," he said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Alex Avila’s walkoff is the type of break the Cubs need to keep catching. “...I was glad I was able to make up for my amazing throw the half-inning before,” Avila said.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald* {$}): Catchers new to Chicago Cubs, but not to majors. “Enter veterans Alex Avila and Rene Rivera, both of whom began the season with other teams.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Kyle Schwarber inspired by first responders. "There's a lot of good out there," he said. "A lot of good goes unseen. That's another reason to do it. A lot of good goes unseen, and if I can maybe shed some light on that, it'll be cool."
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald* {$}): Another American Legion Week success for Chicago Cubs. “Look for American Legion Week to stick around for as long as Joe Maddon is manager of the Chicago Cubs.”
  • Vinnie Duber (CSN Chicago*): Stop asking if the Cubs are back, they need to make their own momentum — like they did Sunday. “Getting three out of three makes a difference moving forward,” remarked Joe Maddon.
  • Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Breaking down the September call-ups. “...a quick breakdown of the potential guys the Cubs could bring up and the likelihood of their call-up.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Who will the Cubs promote when rosters are expanded Sept. 1? “Here's a list of candidates from Iowa for a promotion.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): How strong is Cubs’ farm system? Pennant race might tell the story. ‘‘The best farm system in the world is when they’re on your big-league team,’’ Theo Epstein said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs eager to see former Boise State linebacker develop as full-time baseball player. Joe Martarano is working into baseball shape.
  • Tim Bannon (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Jorge Soler eclipse: Whatever happened to the former Cub? Soler hasn’t done so well.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): The Rundown: Joe West and Umps unite the White Wristbands, who the hell is Matt Swarmer? “The more I hear about this, the more of a farce it becomes.”
  • ESPN: David Kaplan and Jordan Cornette talk to Jed Hoyer [AUDIO].
  • Daniel Kreps (Rolling Stone): Pearl Jam capture Wrigley Field Shows in 'Let's Play Two' concert film. “Photographer Danny Clinch filmed the August 20th and 22nd concerts.”

Food for thought:

  • Nicola Davis (The Guardian): Astro-bling: scientists recreate 'diamond rain' of Neptune and Uranus. “Using lasers and polystyrene, researchers say they have mimicked the high temperatures and pressures thought to cause diamond rain within ice giants.”
  • Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic): A thorny debate in plate tectonics may finally be resolved. “How deep is a continental plate?” I couldn’t let that one slide.
  • Futurism: The best way to make first contact, according to science. “Our recent attempts to contact alien life have resulted in little more than hope and speculation, but we've been at this for a number of years, and many believe first contact is within our grasp.”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return to your galaxy Thursday.