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Cub Tracks swabs the deck

Kuiper caper, luck stripped out, nanoyarn, and other bullets

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
keelhaul of fame
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images


Last time around, Cub Tracks tried to mix a better batter, stirring in scrapple loaf, the six-man rotation, wild yeasts, and other ingredients into a piquant preparation. Today, we have items about Kuiper caper, luck stripped out, nanoyarn, and other imponderables.

Scuttlebutt has it that Mike Montgomery looked efficient last night. A couple of the writers dissect his possibilities. Javy was Javy. Al will have details in the recap. Arrh, matey!

Ignore that mess from the crow’s nest. The writers and bloggers walk the plank. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1918 - At Wrigley Field, Lefty Tyler tosses a gem as the Cubs edge the Reds, 1-0. The victory clinches the National League pennant for Chicago, which will end the season 10.5 games ahead of the second-place Giants.
  • 1939 - Wheaties sponsors the first telecast of a baseball game when their ads are aired during the Ebbets Field contest between the Reds and the Dodgers. The commercial broadcast is available only in New York City, where an estimated 500 people own television sets.
  • 1966 - On a typically cool night, the Beatles play their final concert at Candlestick Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. The 'Fab Four's performance on five-foot stage, which is located just behind second base, surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence, is less than stellar due the ballpark's inadequate lighting, poor acoustics, and the group's growing disdain of doing live shows.
  • 1966 - Robin Roberts, getting the Cubs' 4-2 win in relief, becomes the first and only pitcher to beat the Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta Braves. On Independence Day in 1948, the future Hall-of-Famer went the distance to notch his third career big-league victory, beating the Boston Braves at Shibe Park in his rookie year with the Phillies.
  • 1977 - After four seasons and 1,382 major league at-bats, Duane Kuiper hits his first and only homer.
  • 1977 - At Jack Murphy Stadium, 39-year-old Cardinals outfielder Lou Brock swipes his 893rd bag, breaking Ty Cobb's 49-year-old major-league career record for stolen bases. The Georgia Peach had established the mark in 1928 as a member of the Philadelphia A's, at the age of 41.
  • 1996 - The Orioles become the first major league team to have seven players hit 20 or more home runs in the same season when Bobby Bonilla goes deep off right-hander Bob Wells in the first inning of a 9-6 loss to Seattle at the Kingdome. The other Baltimore sluggers to reach the plateau are Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, Cal Ripken, B.J. Surhoff, Brady Anderson, and Chris Hoiles.
  • 2002 - At Milwaukee's Miller Park, Mark Bellhorn becomes the first National Leaguer and joins Carlos Baerga as the only other switch-hitter to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning. The Cub infielder connects off southpaw Andrew Lorraine to start Chicago's 10-run fourth-inning and then goes deep again with a three-run homer with two outs off Jose Cabrera.
  • 2012 - Thanks to official scorer Bob Rosenberg changing his ruling, Darwin Barney establishes a National League single-season record when he plays in his 114th straight errorless game at second base in the Cubs' 3-1 loss to Milwaukee at Wrigley Field to break the mark set by David Eckstein, who had accomplished the feat playing for the Padres in 2010. After Barney originally received an error for his toss to Luis Valbuena, the retired sportswriter changed his mind, giving the error to the third baseman for mishandling the throw.

Cubs news and notes:

  • Henry Druschel (Beyond the Box Score): The playoff races, with luck stripped out. It’s Good to be a little ‘stitious. Real good.
  • Chris Emma (CBS Chicago*): On path to postseason, Cubs control their destiny. “Confidence is big in this sport,” Albert Almora Jr. said.
  • Mike Petriello ( Cubs' offense looking championship caliber. Since the All-Star break, anyway.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): ‘Fun’ — these Cubs? We’ll have to try to get used to the concept. “ survival mode for months, the Cubs are having as much fun playing the game as they did a year ago.”
  • Adam Berry ( Jake Arrieta, Cubs continue division scrap with Bucs. “The Bucs have spent most of the year below .500, but they believe they can contend if they take advantage of their upcoming matchups with the NL Central-leading Cubs.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): After simulated game, Jon Lester could be near return from lat injury. “I thought he looked good,’’ general manager Jed Hoyer said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs looking for best fit for Jon Lester's return. “Lester will throw a bullpen session Wednesday that could dictate when he rejoins the Cubs rotation.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): How Mike Montgomery sets up Cubs to win now and in the future. “I’m on a good team and I want to win,” Montgomery said.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Montgomery showing strong future as starter. "His future is as a starter. What you saw tonight is typical of what he's capable of doing over a long period of time,” opined Joe Maddon.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Mike Montgomery wins now, shows promise for Cubs’ rotation in 2018. “ press-box wise guy said: “Game 1 playoff starter?””
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): John Lackey says he threw the ball well yesterday … and, you know what? He’s right. “...a game can turn on just a mistake or two...”
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times*): Move over, Mr. Cub: Anthony Rizzo may top Ernie Banks’ 1B HR record. 47 autographs to go. Derrek Lee is 15 away.
  • Rick Kogan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Ernie Banks gets a new memorial in Graceland, within cheering distance of Wrigley Field. “Ernie Banks was one of our finest citizens,” said Frederick Wacker III.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Are Cubs turning Ben Zobrist into a part-time player? “I’m just thankful that we’re in the place we are right now as a team, and that we have other capable guys,” Zobrist said.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Should Tommy La Stella’s well-above-average bat get him more playing time? “La Stella playing regularly would mean sacrificing defensive value with the belief his bat would make up that cost.”
  • Corey Freedman (Cubs Insider): Watch: Addison Russell doubles in first rehab AB. Nice.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Is this possible? One measure has 2016-17 Kris Bryant as the least “Clutch” player. A meditation on Jeff Sullivan’s Fangraphs article, posted in the last Cub Tracks.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Joe Maddon doing better job than 2017 record suggests. “He seems to always be aware of the vibe of the team,” outfielder Jason Heyward said of Maddon.

Food for thought:

  • Marlene Cimons (Popular Science): Fish might be shrinking. “ won’t be able to get enough oxygen to grow if ocean waters keep heating up.”
  • Sam Cholke (DNAinfo): Second City performing at Museum of Science and Industry next month. “...a little comedy with science...”
  • Andrew Wagner (Science): These tangled carbon nanotubes can harvest energy directly from breathing and ocean waves. “Because of their scalable nature, the researchers say these carbon nanotube yarns could be used anywhere reliable kinetic energy is available.”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Thursday and hoist the yardarm.