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Cub Tracks’ recipe for success?

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Focused on depth, powerful return for Bryant, and other bullets

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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

So that was the game that was. The Giants jumped out to a quick four-run lead and dared the Cubs to chip away, so they did. It just wasn’t quite enough as the Giants won in extras and captured the meatloaf. Johnny Cueto provided entertainment at-bat and Ben Zobrist had an uncharacteristic dribble. The ‘new’ Jason Heyward continues to rake. The ‘new’ KB looks good, too. (1)

What would San Francisco meatloaf be like, anyway? Something horrifying like sealoaf? Eeeeuugghh. I can’t even. Not good food, I don’t think (2). I’d rather be at Wrigley for the Rick Bayless menu — that’s my idea of good food. The 19th, it starts. I saw that ad and started drooling.

Ah well...an off-day today and then three with the Padres. (3)

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

Cubs News and Notes:

Kyle Schwarber is the only player in baseball with two, two strike bunt hits this season as he laid a perfect one down in the 9th inning today on a 2-2 count. He did the same on June 26 against the Dodgers. There have been 6 bunt hits with 2 strikes by non-pitchers this season. Schwarber has two of them. — Jesse Rogers.

Joe Maddon has no issue with two of his players taking part in HR derby next week at the all-star game. He doesn’t believe Javy Baez or Kyle Schwarber will mess up their swings by participating: “It’s an illogical dialogue. People say that just because they’ve heard someone say that. It’s almost like a wive’s tale.” — Jesse Rogers.

“C’mon Cubs. I got places I don’t have to go. I have things I don’t need to do. But let’s go, anyway.” — Lin Brehmer.

  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Which players could the Cubs target at the trade deadline? ““Almost every contender is looking to add another reliever or two from each side,” Theo Epstein said.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Jed Hoyer: Cubs focused on depth, ‘Going to be talking to a lot of teams about pitching’. “We probably didn’t have the necessary depth in the bullpen. The game is played different in the playoffs,” Hoyer said.
  • (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Joe Maddon on Cubs’ rotation switch [VIDEO].
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Jon Lester won’t pitch in All-Star game after Cubs push next start to Sunday. “The best way to describe [the decision] is Kyle’s in the best position physically, with innings and all that kind of stuff, to come out of the break and have possibly the least amount of time off,” Joe Maddon said.
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Carl Edwards Jr. is back on top, but caution is key for the rest of the Cubs bullpen. “Today’s probably the best I’ve felt since coming back from the injury,” Edwards said.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Willson Contreras wants to wear his Venezuela sleeve for the All-Star Game (Hey, MLB: let him). “Let the players be themselves in ways that aren’t hurting anyone...”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Cubs’ Willson Contreras ASG starter, but Cards catcher still feels like the man. “...remember that time Yadier Molina posted an Instagram, which told Contreras to “respect the ranks?” Well, it’s gone now.”
  • Grey Papke (Larry Brown Sports): Javier Baez jokes about doing whatever is necessary to stay in lineup. “I’ll bat wherever,” Baez said, via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. “I’ll bat 12th in the lineup if I have to.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Cubs hope Bryant’s powerful return from DL is sign he can shoulder load. “I think the mission was accomplished down there, and it felt pretty good,” said Bryant.
  • Martin Oppegaard (MLB.com*): Bryant returns, launches 2-run homer. “The big fly drove in Heyward, who (had) singled earlier in the frame and homered in the third inning, to pull Chicago within a run of San Francisco.”
  • Joe Posnanski (MLB.com*): Kyle Schwarber is better defensively than you think. “...in the old days, a defender built a reputation and kept it more or less forever.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Meet Miguel Amaya, the next big-time Cubs prospect heading to the Futures Game. “He’s awesome,” said South Bend lefty Brendon Little.

Food For Thought:

(1). Details in Al’s recap.

(2). Heh. You could actually get a blue plate special at the Blue Plate, on Mission at Valencia. Meatloaf with a side of mac n cheese. So that answers that. San Fran is well-supplied with meatloaf, apparently. Even my favored bacon-wrapped variety. Mine has good Wisconsin cheddar in it though. I suppose I could live with Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack if I had to.

(3). I still hate the Padres. I suspect I always will.

Thanks for reading.