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Cub Tracks lays an egg

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Cubs’ schneidly whiplash, we’re pretty average, he’s no Vogelbach, and other bullets

At least he hit something.
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Fowl ball!

Last time around, Cub Tracks found diamonds in the rough, and talked about coming back to life, Yu going eye-high, things humans can’t do, and other bullets. I come to you today having witnessed the laying of the goose egg by the Cubs...somehow engineered even though the eye test showed the Cubs barreling the ball all night long. But not enough of them fell fair to turn the evil tide and the Cubs dropped the second game of the series to the Tribe.

Now we fans have a day off to cluster up on the ledge. I’m only up here to shove off the doomsayers...this humble scribe will always remember the futility of the team through the days of my youth and well into my latter years, and I am able to enjoy the games, for the most part, regardless of outcome, it being a novelty still to have a competent squad on the field at most times.

Never mind that the bird of paradise seems to be biting us all on the ass — it’ll even out in the end. That said, let’s journey forth, you and I, into the valley of darkness and throw some shade on the chicken littles of the world, may they eat crow in October.

A lot of these articles seem like they’re torn from the comments section here. Enjoy.

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

“This is the great thing about this organization,” Albert Almora Jr said. “Nothing needs to be said. Guys want to play for us because we’re the team to be. And we have a lot of fun. We have a great group of guys.”

The bond between Almora and Manny Machado is strong, from Almora serving as a groomsman in Machado’s wedding to calling each other cousins to Almora referring to Machado’s mother as his aunt.

But Almora stopped short of trying to play Cubs executive in an effort to acquire Machado.

“It’s up to the front office guys to make those kind of decisions,” Almora said. “We have a great team as we stand.” — Mark Gonzales.

  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Why Joe Maddon won’t bury his players or overreact to the Cubs’ inconsistencies. “I was a scout. A lot of these guys have never scouted. That’s the advantage I have, I think...”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Jon Lester solid, but Cubs baffled by Tribe rookie. “...the Indians rookie outpitched the veteran, throwing six innings of no-hit ball to help send Chicago to a 1-0 loss...”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Clubhouse Access: How the Cubs’ uneven scoring distribution compares around baseball. Discusses Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs manager Joe Maddon defends catcher Willson Contreraspitch-framing skill. “There’s a lot of this stuff that gives people jobs, in a sense, where they get to analyze data and throw something out there. But at the end of the day, I think Willson is a very good catcher,” he said.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Life isn’t easy for Cubs at top of baseball’s food chain. “As a fan, of course, you dream big and think of the what-ifs. But I appreciate everything we have here,” said Anthony Rizzo.
  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The Javier Báez needle. “Looking around, really only Matt Williams’s 1994 season—and Ozzie Albies’s current one—compares to the kind of output Báez is producing.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Converting higher contact rates to better production would make Russell untradeable. “Russell’s 2018 plate approach suggests a breakout could be brewing.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Cubs faith in Russell hasn’t changed. “Addy’s gonna continue to progress to the point where all his game is gonna become consistent,” Maddon said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kris Bryant on Cubs: ‘We’re pretty average right now’. “I feel like we’re underperforming a little bit,” he said, as reported above.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): How Ian Happ got his groove back. “There’s a legit case to be made that Happ has been the Cubs’ second-best hitter in 2018.”
  • John Trupin (Lookout Landing): Mariners call up OF John Andreoli to make his MLB debut, give Dan Altavilla the gift of Tacoma. “Congratulations to John on finally, after over three consecutive years in AAA, getting his MLB call-up.” He had a good game, too, but he’s still no Dan Vogelbach.
  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Fantasy Island: Manny Machado. “...let’s get into a possible Machado trade just for funsies, because we’re tired of arguing over the Cubs offense or Yu Darvish.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Five Cubs prospects who are heating up at the plate in May. “The lack of hitting in the Cubs system to this point in the season is a little disconcerting.”
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Umpires for Cubs game, Southpaw deliver stuffed animals at children’s hospital. Ted Barrett, Lance Barksdale, Will Little and Tom Woodring, along with White Sox mascot Southpaw, performed the deed.
  • The Hall of Very Good: Harry Caray statue loses arm. “...a “group of juveniles” knocked off Caray’s left arm with a baseball bat.” (Not the one at Wrigley.)

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.