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Cub Tracks’ joie de vivre

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Playing with Javy, Willson, and the Cubs, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Today will be the first of 23 in a row. Let’s try to have fun on the rollercoaster. No grabbing for the ledge — keep hands and feet inside the vehicle. Blame me for the bad parts and thank Tim Huwe for the inspiration.

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

Cubs News and Notes:

Playing with joy.

Playing with joy.

Playing with joy.

  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): ‘It’s grind time’: Cubs facing a stretch of 23 games without a day off. “The body never feels the same every day,” reliever Pedro Strop said. “Just take the rest when you need it.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): A conversation with Kyle Hendricks: How to ride the Cubs rollercoaster. “A lot of it is experience, to be honest with you,” he said.
  • Matthew Martell (*): Yu Darvish requests MRI after rehab start cut short. “During the warmup of the next inning, I felt something in there,” Darvish said through an interpreter. “Last time, even though I did feel the same thing, I continued to throw. This time, I just stopped it here.”
  • Sean Sears (NBC Sports Chicago*): Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy. “ seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): ‘No one’s panicked.’ How the Cubs reacted to the Darvish news and their ‘brutal’ offensive showing in Pittsburgh. “...when the cavalry shows up, you get to utilize them,” said Maddon.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Reliever Steve Cishek provides control in Cubs’ inconsistent pitching staff. “He’s going to make any team better. He has no ego,” said director of pro scouting Kyle Evans.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register {$}): Iowa Cubs reliever Dakota Mekkes either headed back to school or to the big leagues in September. “He’s doing a great job,” said Iowa manager Marty Pevey. “He’s creating an opportunity for himself.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Two steps forward, one step back: The ugly numbers behind the Cubs’ slumping offense. “If anything, this team doesn’t hit enough home runs.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): How concerned should we be about the Cubs’ complete lack of power? “Is it a sign of Chili Davis’s power-siphoning philosophy or simply a matter of some untimely injuries and poor fortunes?”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras have bad numbers in the second half but only one deserves them. “...the Cubs’ catcher and the Cubs’ left fielder have been heading in very different directions.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Addison Russell giving middle finger to offensive production. “It’s painfully obvious that the finger is still affecting him to a significant degree...”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): How much patience will Maddon have with Russell? “Is it time for another shakeup at shortstop?”
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Sabermetrics surprise: Anthony Rizzo, David Bote have the same WAR. “Positional factors expand Bote’s edge.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): ‘Get in or get lost’? Please — Cubs’ Joe Maddon deserves more respect than that. ‘‘Whoever said that is an idiot,’’ Rizzo said.

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.