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Cub Tracks loads the basses

The GLOAT, the GROAT, and other bullets

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs
pitching in
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

I stopped looking at memes of cats demanding froot loops long enough to tune in the Cubs game...I had to listen to Bob Brenly and whoever is the play-by-play man on Fox AZ as MLB.TV said I was blacked out. That made it even harder to keep going with the game as Luke Farrell allowed many hits and runs in his short stint, while the Cubs flailed, so I trolled the music thread a little. Please forgive me. If not, c’est la vie. Bad baseball is bad baseball. A crappy game leaves me at loose ends and I then have to compensate with what I like to call ‘humor’.

Well, it wasn’t 15 runs, so that was a good thing. But, ugh. Baseball does baseball. Enjoy the music. Enjoy the humor. Enjoy the Rizzo. Now I just need Javier Baez to pitch. I’m not even gonna talk about the bobblehead.

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

Cubs News and Notes:

About the Manny Machado trade:

“It was a really good trade by the Dodgers,” Ben Zobrist said over the weekend. “I think that’s what they needed. I still like our chances against a team like that if we can get into that position we’ve been in the last couple of years.” — Jesse Rogers.

ESPN: Rizzo talks about his pitching debut [VIDEO].

  • Carrie Muskat (*): Theo Epstein: Cubs on lookout to keep adding to ‘pen. “You’re always looking to upgrade this time of year when you have a competitive team,” Epstein said Sunday.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon putting trade-deadline focus on Cubs bullpen. “Of course, you like the experienced arm,” Maddon said.
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Help must come from within for a Cubs team that can’t count on Yu Darvish or a blockbuster trade. “You can’t be overly reliant on somebody who hasn’t been able to be healthy and perform this year,” Epstein said.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cubs have been watching Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi, who seems like a perfect short-term fit. “His stuff right now is better than it’s been at any point in his career,” one talent evaluator said.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation):Jose Quintana’s 121-pitch outing and quietly great (results) stretch. “The fact that Quintana was able to toss 121 pitches not only shows that he was feeling strong enough to do it, but also that the Cubs’ coaches and trainers (and possibly front office members) were equally convinced.”
  • Vince Lovergine (NBC Sports Chicago*): Willson Contreras sees Mike Montgomery finding his way as a starter. “Baseball gods put him in this spot and it’s been really good,” said Contreras.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs relievers Brandon Morrow and Anthony Bass healing slowly. “...the Cubs are being extra cautious...”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Is Cubs’ bullpen deep enough and strong enough to carry staff all season? ‘‘Absolutely,’’ reliever Steve Cishek said.
  • Adam J. Morris (Lone Star Ball): Jesse Chavez’s season-changing arm slot adjustment. “Chavez says he changed his arm slot on Mother’s Day, and that appears to have altered his entire 2018 season.
  • Neil Paine (Five Thirty-Eight): The Cubs aren’t just the Kris Bryant-Anthony Rizzo show anymore. “Chicago’s hitters have spread the contributions around.”
  • Matthew Martell (*): Rizzo sizzling since move to leadoff spot. “I just can’t move Rickey out of the leadoff spot right now. I can’t do it,” Maddon said, alluding to Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. “He’s provided a lot of energy at the top of the batting order.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs could see return of starting pitchers batting 8th. “Rizzo’s success at the leadoff spot has Maddon considering batting his starting pitcher eighth to maximize run-producing opportunities with a position player batting ninth.”
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): WAR story: Chicago facing dearth of Hall of Fame candidates. “No Chicago player on the outside looking in is above Hall of Fame average in bWAR, but several are close enough to merit a look.”
  • Vince Lovergine (NBC Sports Chicago*): Kyle Schwarber makes a surprise visit to 25th District Police Station. “...most of his family members have worked in the police force.”
  • Jared Wyllys (The Sporting News): Why Joe Maddon’s Cubs have been a strong second-half team. “We avoid fatigue early,” Maddon told Sporting News. “That’s been intentional.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.