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Cub Tracks’ crooked numbers

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Yu news is bad news, the Devil and Daniel Murphy, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Detroit Tigers
Don’t buzz Javy
Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

I love crooked numbers, but they’re as hard to keep lit as a ham. Let’s hope the Cubs can manage to keeps them numbers burning for a little while here, cuz that was fun to watch. It looked like the game might get away for a heartbeat or two, but the Cubs got everything cleaned up, got the lead, and kept it. Satisfying. More runs, please.

...and it’s great to write one of these things when it’s not after an offday. I’ve been out of step for nearly a week; discombobulated, verklempt, out of sorts. Not that most people can tell the difference. I most humbly beg your pardon.

More joy, please. Don’t buzz Javy. And pass me the PAM. The ledges are getting dry. Lots of Murphy coverage. As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

“He’s pretty beat up right now,” manager Joe Maddon said of Russell. “The thing I love about him is he does not make excuses. Let’s get him well, let’s get him ready for the last month. I think you’ll see a different animal when he comes back. He’s just banged up.”

Russell said the shoulder has been bothering him for awhile.

”We’re making this push and I want to make sure the body is ready to go,” Russell said.

How many injuries is he dealing with?

”There’s a few of them,” Russell said. “Me being a football player, I tend to play through the pain. I want to be out there on the field. Just playing through the pain is what I’m used to. When things start to linger on, that’s when I know to show it a little more attention.” — Carrie Muskat.

The Cubs were impressed by newcomer Daniel Murphy who went 2 for 5 in his debut on Wednesday while re-affirming his place as one of the game’s most ‘professional’ hitters. Count rookie David Bote in as a fan: “Pfft. Love the guy. Baseball rat, just like us. I’m so excited he’s with us. Such a good dude, such a good teammate. First impressions of him are outstanding.” — Jesse Rogers.

  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): So what exactly is a ‘Stress Reaction’ and what does it mean for Yu Darvish’s future? “...the good news here is that, regardless of whether Darvish consumes any mild erotica, his outlook is very good.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Darvish is done for the year. Can the rest of the Cubs rotation step up? “The addition of Hamels, health of Montgomery and potential bounce-back from Hendricks, Lester and José Quintana just became all the more important.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Cubs’ offense breaks out with 3-homer game. “...they got a welcome two-run blast by rookie David Bote, a three-run shot by Javier Baez and a solo homer by Anthony Rizzo to post an 8-2 interleague victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): By one measure, the Cubs just finished the worst offensive slump in baseball this season. “30 at-bats with RISP without a hit...of course it was Murphy who ended that stretch.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Nine takeaways from the Daniel Murphy trade and the Yu Darvish shutdown. “You can’t overreact,” Maddon said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Newcomer Murphy plans to ‘compete like a maniac’ for the Cubs. “I’m coming here and will try to compete like my hair is on fire, which is what I’ve seen from (afar) with what this club has done...”
  • Moshe Wilensky (Cubs Insider): Addition of Murphy could put Cubs dangerously close to luxury tax cap. “I estimated the Cubs had $3.856 million in remaining cap space. By a strange coincidence, Spotrac shows Murphy is still owed $3.857 million this year.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Murphy collects 1st hits, RBI in Cubs debut. “...my job is to come in here and compete every single pitch and fall in line,” he said.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Essential): Daniel Murphy and the Cubs’ message to their LGBTQ fans. This was touched on in conversations on the boards. Schultz makes his case.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Cubs vet past anti-gay comments before trading for Daniel Murphy. They reached out to Billy Bean.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): How Javy Baez indirectly helped nurse a diehard Cubs fan back to health. “Baez has never met Chris Scholten. Yet he helped change Scholten’s life forever.”
  • Robbie Stratakos (Baseball Essential*): The Chicago Cubs are benefiting from an underwhelming National League. “...they’re the best team in the NL. But a big part of that is the fact that their competition in the NL isn’t what it once was.”
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register {$}): Which Iowa Cubs could be headed to Chicago in September? No surprises here.

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.