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Cub Tracks’ bye-bye birdie

Fowler play, Yu news, we really are stardust, and other bullets

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Chicago Cubs v San Diego Padres
Javy and moar Javy
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Welcome to your Sunday. The Cubs and Padres played the middle game of a three-game set Saturday night. We’ll have an item or two about that...typically Sunday is the slowest day in terms of news, but not today...mmm, meatloaf.

Kyle Hendricks is still battling whatever his mechanical malady is. That said, the pitch to Hosmer in the first was inside, not at all a bad pitch. But Hosmer struck it well. That’s bad. As I write, it’s the bottom of the third, and Hendricks has thrown 74 pitches. That’s bad. But Kyle Schwarber brought his bat, and that’s good. And the others seem to have brought theirs, as well. Javy was Javy. The new Heyward was still in evidence...

Mike Matheny was just wished into the cornfield, and that’s good (if you like competition, anyway, cuz there’s no way from there except up). The lead beat writer for St. Louis Post-Dispatch says:

No word on what position Bud Norris is likely to assume.

“In other NL Central news, the Cardinals fired manager Mike Matheny, immediately making them the most improved team in the division at the trade deadline.” — Gordon Wittenmyer.

Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Good one, Gordo. I think they should be forced to keep him as a penalty for hacking into Houston’s network, but that’s just me. I’m only on the Twitters when I’m doing this column, which turned out to be good timing...

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

Cubs News and Notes:

“At this point, it’s really not even surprising to us, and it’s crazy to say that,” Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo said of Javier Baez’ daredevil baserunning. “It’s fun. His instincts, his baseball instincts, are taking over the whole game and people are noticing it more than ever. That’s who he is, and he continues to keep getting better.” — Carrie Muskat.

Yu Darvish (elbow impingement) says he’s making progress and feeling better than earlier in his rehab process and his hopeful to be on a mound against next weekend. Meanwhile, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer reiterated Darvish’s injury won’t have a major impact on the trade deadline since the Cubs were looking for pitching anyway: “Every piece of information we can gather is helpful. No matter what happens we know we’re going to need more pitching to get through the season effectively.” — Jesse Rogers.

“I haven’t been good,” Tyler Chatwood said about his first half. “There’ve been spots when I’ve been good, but I haven’t been consistent like I know I can be. We’ve won a lot of games I’ve started, so that’s a positive. [The All-Star break] is kind of a reset and a chance to get away from it and get back to work. It’ll be fun.” — Carrie Muskat.

  • Jeff Burdick (Cubs Insider): Checking on 5 key nuances to Cubs’ World Series hopes. Results remain to be seen.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs manager Joe Maddon emphasizes ‘good old-fashioned baseball’ in meeting. “The big thing was to emphasize the heartbeat over analytics,” Maddon said Saturday night.
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Cubs hope Darvish can ‘ramp it up’ in 2nd half. “I have no reason to be pessimistic,” said Jed Hoyer.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs in the hunt for pitching help — regardless of Yu Darvish’s status. “No matter what happens, we’re going to try to acquire pitching and try to acquire depth,” Jed Hoyer said.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register {$}): Veteran Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez says 2018 season could be his last. “I’m 35,” Gimenez said. “It’d be crazy to think you can play forever.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Hitting leadoff helps nudge Rizzo out of slump. “I just have to keep playing and hit some balls where they’re not standing,” he said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Addison Russell on the rebound after meeting with Chili Davis: .298 with 15 RBIs in 14 games. “There were a lot of words said in that meeting,” Russell said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Don’t look now, but Chris Coghlan is just a step away from rejoining Cubs. I like it. Cogs is one of my favorite players.
  • William Boor, Mike Rosenbaum (*): Watch Miguel Amaya rep Cubs in Futures Game. The game will be broadcast live at 3 p.m. CT on MLB Network and streamed on

Food For Thought:

Thanks for reading.