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Cub Tracks can’t win ‘em all

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solo homers aren’t offensive enough, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
can’t win em all
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

A solo home was the whole offense again. Unfortunately, the Cubs didn’t shut out the opposition, and lost the game. They’ll try again this afternoon.

Our panel of experts holds forth. As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

The Cubs scored exactly one run in each of their last 3 games, all via solo home runs. That hadn’t happened to the franchise in the last 110 seasons, and it’s first time since 2016 it happened in major league baseball. The Cubs offense has been stuck in neutral essentially since the all-star break, attempting to pull the ball way too often, according to Joe Maddon: “We have to stay in the middle of the field. That’s the one time this year that I thought we were a pretty powerful offense.” — Jesse Rogers.

  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Jon Lester, Cole Hamels suggest blueprint for Cubs October in 1-0 wins over Bucs. “That’s what we need,” said Hamels.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Hamels has been an Ace so far with the Cubs. “’s not entirely luck...”
  • (Cubs Insider): Hamels pitching himself into $20 million option for 2019. “...having Cole Hamels on the bump every fifth day is looking like a damn good way to fly that W flag more frequently.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Hamels shows why the Cubs bet on him at the trade deadline. “Tonight was just kind of a gut performance on his part,” manager Joe Maddon said afterward. “He pitched with his heart and he pitched with his brain today and that’s how we got through this.”
  • Mason Wittner (*): Solo HR not enough as Tyler Chatwood struggles. “...the Cubs weren’t able to produce enough offense to climb out of an early hole.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Chatwood’s return to rotation short-lived in Cubs’ 3-1 loss to the Pirates. “I didn’t think I could be patient,” Joe Maddon said.
  • Mason Wittner (*): Brandon Morrow encouraged by first bullpen session. “I thought it was OK,” Morrow said. “I threw the ball really well.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Can the Cubs still count on Morrow to be a force in the playoffs? “With Morrow, it’s always been a matter of staying healthy...”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Shutouts not in short supply for Cubs despite lack of complete games. That’s interesting,” Maddon said. “It is a different age.”
  • Jeff Burdick (Cubs Insider): Third quarter grades: Cubs score high on NL curve. “It’s hard to argue the standings.”
  • Craig Edwards (Fangraphs): Kyle Schwarber is who we thought he was. “...he’s having a solid pro career, and that’s right in line with what should have been expected.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.