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Cub Tracks calls time

Fix KB, hot Heyward, splitsville, and other bullets

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Wilson picks it
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Disheartening. Sure the Reds aren’t as bad as they were earlier in the season, but they’re still basically a .500 team. Watching that game felt like eating that stuff they call chili in Cincinnati. I’m vaguely nauseated and still hungry. Games like that remind me of how it used to be, back in the days when I would do things like sit in the left-field bleachers so I could heckle Dave Kingman, who got the red ass.

Somebody fix KB, please. Yikes.

The best the Cubs can do now is split. That’s what I voted, though I thought it was the latter two games that were dangerous. This could get ugly — let’s hope not. Go Luke Farrell!

On to the news — as always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

Cubs righty Yu Darvish (triceps) is getting closer to returning after another bullpen session on Friday, according to manager Joe Maddon: “Yu did really well today. We’ll wait until tomorrow then plan the next step. The next step could be he goes out and pitches a minor league situation. If he comes in and feels great (Saturday), we’ll let you know where the next step is going to occur.” — Jesse Rogers.

  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): When it comes to the baseball roller coaster, ride at your own risk. Joe Maddon: “...if you choose not to, it’s like investing in the long-term as opposed to watching the quotes every day.”
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Tough result in Cincinnati doesn’t discourage Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. “Obviously a couple of bad walks there,” Hendricks said. “But for the most part (I felt) better, honestly. I made better pitches today. Just frustrating.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs prospect Dillon Maples pitching his way into promotion picture. “He’s really close,” Jaron Madison, the Cubs’ director of player personnel, said Wednesday at Wrigley Field. “He has had some very good outings. And he’s really close to getting back here.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Cubs still waiting for Willson Contreras’ offense to take off, but they know it’s coming. “He’s just not been hitting the ball as hard,” Maddon said.
  • ESPN*: Anthony Rizzo talks with Kaplan and Olczyk [AUDIO].
  • ESPN*: Kris Bryant talks about the loss to the Reds [VIDEO].
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Bryant still getting used to batting leadoff. “The biggest thing is you feel like you’re up every inning,” he said.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): The comeback: One year after getting shipped to the minors, Kyle Schwarber is playing better than ever. “There’s definitely been some improvement, but there’s also room to grow,” Schwarber said.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Jason Heyward is still so very hot, and eventually we can let ourselves exhale. “Since coming back from his concussion on May 18, Heyward is hitting .337/.376/.515 with a 138 wRC+.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Heyward’s glorious June numbers aren’t lucky. “During his time with the Cubs, Heyward has never looked as good at the dish than right now.”
  • Randy Holt: (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Heyward was worth the wait. “The numbers speak for themselves.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): The Cubs are set to go big in the new IFA period, though there is suddenly a new challenge. “Things are just too murky to predict right now...”

Food For Thought:

Thanks for reading.