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Cub Tracks catches up

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The original Waco Kid, the birth of a rivalry, beer is good for you, and other bullets

Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs
I just want to celebrate
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cubs win!

NL Central joke of the day -- the Presidents of Miller, Budweiser, and Guinness go to a bar. The leader of Miller has a Lite beer. The honcho of Bud has a Bud Light. The head of Guinness has an iced tea.

When the others turn to him and ask why, he says “...since you’re not having beer, I’m not either.”

Ba dum tss. Thanks. I’ll be here all day.

The catching situation is no joke though. The schedule’s gonna get easier from here, too.

"It's really difficult to take Willson Contreras' bat out of the lineup right now," Joe Maddon said. "I thought it was the right thing to do today. And that's why we're doing it."

"I'm not afraid of any position," Contreras said. "I'm here to play. This is my job, and I'll do everything for my team...(but I'd rather be behind the plate).” -- from Carrie Muskat

More:

Among Venezuelan-born players Willson Contreras is one HR behind Miguel Cabrera for most through their first 175 games. Contreras has 31 in 174 games. His 103 RBI are third behind Cabrera (121) and Victor Martinez (115).

Conteras has 13 more runs driven in since the all star break than any other Cub. His 27 RBI are tied with Nolan Arenado for the most since the break.

— Jesse Rogers

Why put off til tomorrow what you can do next week?

Let’s get some meatloaf. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1890 - Cy Young, making his major league debut, is credited with the win when the Cleveland Spiders beat the Colts in Chicago's West Side Park, 8-1.
  • 1930 - During the Waco Cubs' 18-run eighth inning eruption at Katy Park, Gene Rye hits three home runs in one inning. The Texas League outfielder's round trippers in the minor league game include a solo shot, a two-run homer, and a grand slam.
  • 1937 - The Braves become the first National League team to lead off a game with back-to-back homers. At Wrigley Field, Roy Johnson and Rabbit Warstler both go deep to start the first inning off Tex Carleton, but Boston's quick start isn't enough as Chicago wins the contest 12-6.
  • 1952 - At the approximate age of 46, Satchel Paige became the oldest pitcher in major league history to hurl a complete-game shutout, beating Virgil 'Fire' Trucks and the Tigers, 1-0, when Bobby Young scored the game's only run in the 12th inning. He did it again in September as the Browns downed the White Sox.
  • 1972 - The second game of the Midland Cubs and Amarillo Giants minor league doubleheader is postponed when thousands of grasshoppers begin appearing everywhere at Christensen Stadium. The massive clusters of insects, who swarmed from their nests behind the center field wall after the ballpark's lights were turned on, made play impossible when infielders couldn't see their outfielders through the hordes of fluttering invaders.
  • 1988 - Goose Gossage becomes the second player in major league history to record 300 career saves when he faces one batter and gets the final out in the Cubs' 7-4 victory over Philadelphia at Wrigley Field. The future Hall-of-Fame right-handed reliever joins Rollie Fingers, who reached the milestone in 1982.
  • 2002 - Robb Nen becomes the 16th major leaguer to record his 300th career save when he closes the Giants' 11-10 victory over Chicago at Pac-Bell Park. He’s the youngest to reach the milestone, in his final year of pitching.

Cubs news and notes:

  • Russell Dorsey (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Making the case for keeping Jake Arrieta past 2017. “...it’s hard to imagine Arrieta somewhere besides Chicago.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs won't back off Carl Edwards Jr. as he searches for 'that loving feeling'. Righteous.
  • Brian Reiff (ESPN-Insider {$}): Cubs remain elite on defense. “...the Cubs' newest catcher, Alex Avila, probably will help his team overall, but not with his defense.”
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Maddon explains Cubs’ hitting philosophy. “As a group, we have been trying to work opposite field with two strikes...”
  • Jerry Fitzpatrick (Daily Herald {$}): Maddon not concerned with Cubs' struggles against good teams. "...as long as you get to the playoffs. I mean, you want to get to the playoffs. I want to believe that we will beat some of the better teams during the season to get there."

  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): No days off: The Cubs absolutely cannot keep Willson Contreras out of the lineup right now. "You can't deny what he's doing right now," Maddon said.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Superstardom awaits if Javier Baez can pull together his disparate approaches. “...Baez seems at times so close to breaking through into that upper echelon of elite MLB talent.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kris Bryant: Pinkie 'nagging' on field, but improving. “I don't think I came back too quick from it, but it's something you've got to play through,” he said.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Turns out the Cubs were very in on Zach Britton, but had to draw a firm line with the Orioles. Elaborating on Ken Rosenthal remarks.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Which Cubs prospects have got next? Discusses a variety of Cubs farmhands.

NVRQT: In honor of John Arguello.

Food for thought:

  • Sarah B. Puschmann (Live Science): Rare conjoined bat twins found in Brazil. “...a closer look into a phenomenon that has only ever been recorded twice before.”
  • Science Daily: Primordial asteroids discovered. “...part of the original asteroid belt.”
  • NBC News: Seven science-backed ways beer is good for you. “Sometimes there’s nothing better than cracking open a cold one...”

Thanks for reading. Smell you Tuesday.