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Babe Ruth in history, just a cramp, black hole hiding out, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Possibly the first position player pitcher debut.
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

CUBS Lose :(

Previously, Cub Tracks went safety first. Today, we’re throwing caution to the wind, in honor of Javier Baez, who should be back in the lineup today. Willson Contreras reportedly will be back soon, and Jake Arrieta’s injury isn’t supposed to be severe. So it’s not all bad news, despite yesterday’s ugly loss.

"As of now, I don't foresee it being much of an issue," said Arrieta, who was trailing 3-0 after 51 pitches. "But as I started my drive to the plate, it really grabbed very good. I tried to throw a warm-up pitch, and it wasn't going to happen. It's unfortunate, but I think it's going to be OK." — Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune)

Today’s another day. Let’s hope it’s a better one. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1914 - En route to tossing a 9-0 shutout against the Toronto Maple Leafs, 19-year-old Babe Ruth of the AAA Providence Grays hits the first home run in his professional career. The site of the 'Sultan of Swat's' only minor-league homer, Hanlan's Point Stadium, which was located on Lake Ontario's Toronto Islands near the city's mainland, is being promoted as a historical landmark by Jerry Amernic, author of Gift of the Bambino.
  • 1918 - At Comiskey Park, Babe Ruth of the Red Sox six-hits the Cubs in the opening game of the World Series, 1-0. The Fall Classic game, which started earlier than usual due to World War I, is played at the White Sox home field rather than Weeghman Park (renamed Wrigley Field in 1926), due to the larger seating capacity.
  • 1954 - Reds' slugger Ted Kluszewski goes deep off Warren Spahn in an eventual 9-7 victory over the Braves in the nightcap of a twin bill. The homer, the first baseman's 44th overall, is the 34th round-tripper he has hit at Crosley Field, making it the most ever hit in one season by a National Leaguer in the same ballpark, an accomplishment which will stand until Sammy Sosa eclipses the mark in 1998 at Wrigley Field.

Cubs news and notes:

The responses are priceless.

Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said of pitcher Brett Anderson, who seemed to be critical of how he was handled in Chicago: "I'm happy that he's healthy and he's pitching." -- Jesse Rogers (ESPN)

  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs weighing the possibility of keeping six-man rotation intact for stretch run. "It's possible [to stick with a six-man rotation]," Joe Maddon said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Jake Arrieta is reminding us just how great he can be. “I still have my best pitching ahead of me,” Arrieta said in August.
  • Bob Cohn (MLB.com): Arrieta reports just a cramp after early exit. "He felt pretty good afterwards," Maddon said. "He started to loosen up. He was able to go through the delivery motion like he was unable to out on the field.
  • Bob Cohn (MLB.com): Kyle Hendricks aims to extend post-DL surge. "His velocity is back where it needs to be, and now there's a difference between fastball and changeup," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Dillon Maples pitches scoreless inning in debut. “Maples said he would give the strikeout ball to his mother.”
  • Gabe Salgado (The Sporting News): Alex Avila's experience helping guide Cubs to late-season success. “He’s seen it all during his nine big league seasons...”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs want Willson Contreras to take it slow; not so for Javier Baez. "I'd like (Contreras) to play with a bit of a governor," Maddon said.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Anthony Rizzo is the poster child for Cubs offense that finally has found its rhythm in second half. “Rizzo is the driving force behind the best second-half offense in baseball.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs firmly believe Rizzo is NL MVP-worthy. If [Rizzo] keeps this pace up in September, he'll make a strong push for it," opined Maddon.
  • ESPN: Javier Baez discusses his thumb injury [VIDEO].
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times*): Javy Baez should be the Cubs’ shortstop for the next decade. “I’ve always had the feeling that the Cubs’ decision makers compliment Baez with Russell in mind...”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kris Bryant weighs in on a tough question: Who is the Cubs’ 2017 MVP? “Get back to me on that,” he says.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Leonys Martin relishes surprise Cubs debut as pitcher. “I’ll never forget this day," Martin said. "My debut with the Cubs, it was fun."
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs season not yet a classic, but the plot is thickening. “With one month left, a Hollywood ending remains a possibility for the 2017 Cubs.”

Food for thought:

  • Addison Nugent (OZY) The science of fairies. “...euhemerism and other fairy theories were a way for people in the 19th and early-20th centuries to reconnect with simpler times.”
  • Daniel Clery (Science): Long-rumored midsized black hole may be hiding out in the Milky Way. “If the discovery is confirmed, it could indicate that our galaxy has grown by cannibalizing its smaller neighbors.”
  • Kate Baggaley (Popular Science): This spacecraft is thinner than a human hair and can capture space debris. “Called Brane Crafts, the tiny ships are about a yard across and thinner than a human hair.”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Thursday with more of this.