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Cub Tracks splits it up

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Dizzy and Daffy, the Jon Jay leadoff thing, blue eggs, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Tampa Bay Rays
Some days you have it
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

CUBS lose. They can start a new streak today with Jake Arrieta on the bump.

“The sun don't shine on the same dog's ass all the time.” — Catfish Hunter

Thanks, Adam Frazier! Hoist the Jolly Roger!

Previously, Cub Tracks dug in at the plate and found an old meatloaf and the fixin’s. This time around the bend, we find that you can’t win if you don’t score more than the other guys. Blake Snell was nasty, Jon Lester was scary and hasn’t looked very good since his return from the DL. Al will have the details.

10 more games, all of them division games. Four with the Brewers, four with the Cardinals, three with the Reds. I read one of the writers in Josh’s MLB Bullets saying this race was boring. I beg to differ. This is fun! Yeah, last year was more fun, but this is fun. How many years did we WISH the Cubs were in a pennant race? There they are, and here we are, talking magic numbers. 8 by my reckoning, Andre Dawson.

The Brewers aren’t giving up. Bring it on. And read all about it. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1892 - At Cleveland's League Park, John Clarkson of the Spiders beats the Pirates 3-2 to become the fifth pitcher in major league history to record his 300th victory. The 31-year-old right-hander will compile a 328-178 record during his 12-year Hall-of-Fame career in the big leagues.
  • 1934 - "If I'da known he was gonna throw one, I'da thrown one, too." - Dizzy Dean, after his brother Daffy threw a no-hitter in the nightcap of a double-header.
  • 1947 - The first Reds game is broadcast on television by W8XCT, the station which will become known as WLWT. An estimated home audience of 10,000 viewers watches their hometown heroes lose to the Pirates in the Sunday afternoon contest at Crosley Field, 11-7.
  • 1949 - At Wrigley Field, the Phillies beat Chicago, 3-1, for their 78th victory of the season. The win guarantees the club its first winning season since 1932, snapping a 16-year streak of futility.
  • 1951 - In his major league debut, Cardinals hurler Jack Collum throws a two-hit shutout against the Cubs at Sportsman's Park, 6-0. The rookie southpaw developed a natural screwball due to losing part of his index finger in a farm accident.
  • 1963 - At Wrigley Field, Jerry Lynch leads off the top of the ninth with a pinch-hit home run, which proves to be the difference in the Pirates' 7-6 victory over Chicago. The historic homer is the southpaw slugger's 15th career homer coming off the bench, establishing a new major league record that was previously shared with former Cincinnati teammate George Crowe.
  • 1966 - The smallest crowd in the 46 year-old history of Chicago's Wrigley Field watches the Cubs beat Cincinnati, 9-3. The 530 fans in attendance at the ballpark for the Wednesday afternoon contest see Billy Williams and Adolfo Philips go deep in a game that takes only two hours and twenty-four minutes to complete.
  • 1987 - Darryl Strawberry and Howard Johnson become the first teammates to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season when the 'Straw' steals two bases in the Mets' 7-1 victory over Chicago at Wrigley Field.

Cubs news and notes:

Jon Lester has tied teammate John Lackey for most first inning home runs given up in the NL as Steven Souza Jr took him deep early in Wednesday's game. Lester and Lackey have both given up eight home runs in the first inning this season which is also the same amount Gio Gonzalez has served as well. — Jesse Rogers (ESPN)

  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Jon Lester’s lefty/righty splits this year are a lot bigger than you may have realized. “...those numbers against righties are scary...”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery delivers a consistent message. “I’m going to be ready to pitch big games, big innings, whether it’s starting or relieving,” Montgomery said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Where would Cubs be without Wade Davis? Can they afford to let him go? ‘‘I’m not thinking past the next two weeks, honestly,’’ Theo Epstein said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Rene Rivera among Cubs watching Hurricane Maria. "We're hoping a cell phone signal comes back and we can get communication," Rivera said. "We'll see what happens."
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Stolen base lead a priority for Anthony Rizzo. "I really hope I can finish the season leading the team in (stolen bases), just because I'll have all the ammunition that I can talk to the guys,” he said.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): Where does Ian Happ fit in playoff lineup? “...the switch-hitting Happ ends up in the outfield.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Central): Ian Happ’s emergence has changed a few things. “...Happ’s rise as a Cub has made the trading of other players more probable and easier to swallow.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): The Jon Jay leadoff thing needs to end immediately, right now, today. “...since the first half ended, the utility outfielder’s numbers look rather bleak.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Why Albert Almora Jr. could become this October’s Javy Baez for Cubs. “He’s got the baseball IQ. He’s obviously got the talent,” said Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Is Jason Heyward actually good or actually bad? “...he’s established more consistency in his ability to make contact and perform with runners in scoring position...”
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Rise of the role-players. Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist, Albert Almora, Jr, and Ian Happ.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Without Rays' leap, Joe Maddon's way might not have made it to Chicago. “I could see the difference just from where I came from in Houston,” Ben Zobrist said.
  • Matthew von Tryon (Indy Star): Former MLB pitcher Dan Plesac on the Cubs, Kyle Schwarber, sports specialization and more. “If they do get in, I wouldn’t want to play them,” he said of the Cubs.
  • Eric Chesterton (Cut Four): Alfonso Soriano has been hitting the weights. “...he's clearly been working out.” With Lou Piniella...

Food for thought:

  • Maria Konnikova (Nature): Fiction: The science in Sherlock Holmes. “...it isn't entirely fantastical.”
  • Science Daily: Scientists make atoms-thick 'Post-It notes' for solar cells and circuits. These materials could expand capabilities for devices from solar cells to cell phones.
  • John Pickrell (National Geographic): Dinosaurs laid blue eggs—and that's a big deal. “Fossil research has shown that birds and dinosaurs shared behaviors such as brooding and nest building...”

Cub Tracks will return in time for Sunday brunch. Thanks for reading.