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Cub Tracks slices it up

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Rehab news, hot and cold takes, RIP Mrs, Jenkins, and other bullets

New York Mets v Chicago Cubs - Game Two
wanna get away?
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Well, a split is not so bad. Goes well with meatloaf and the losses bookend a seven-game winning streak. It could be worse.

Coming up next:

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

Cubs News and Notes:

Joe Maddon responded to a national story in the USA Today regarding “whispers” his job could be in jeopardy without success in the playoffs. Next season is the final year of his contract: “It’s very uninteresting to me. I’m under contract. I’m very happy with what I’m doing. When the time is appropriate I’m sure we’ll discuss it further...When people (media) show up sporadically, they may get a different take on things. You guys are here all the time, you know what’s going on so therein lies the difference.” — Jesse Rogers.

“This afternoon was a tough game,” said Ben Zobrist, who had the walk-off single in the suspended contest. “We knew one of those was coming eventually, but we’ll turn the page quickly and get back to playing good.” — Carrie Muskat.

The Cubs somehow found a way to beat both Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom in the first 2 games of this series, yet can’t figure out Jason Vargas in the final game, even though the veteran LHP came into the day with an ugly 6.96 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. — Tony Andracki.

  • Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs fan with Down syndrome raises money in bid to sing anthem at Wrigley Field. Stefan Xidas asked Tom Ricketts to help fulfill “a dream of mine”.
  • Doug Glanville (NBC Sports Chicago*): Murphy’s Law: Revenge is best served cold. “I suppose not every player does well against their former team, but trust me…they want to.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Maddon wants to manage Cubs beyond 2019. “Of course I want to come back, but it doesn’t matter to me when it’s resolved,” Maddon said.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Theo Epstein responds to the whispers that Joe Maddon is on the hot seat. “Joe is a terrific leader and partner, and we are thrilled with his job performance the last four years,” Epstein wrote.
  • Matt Snyder (CBS Sports*): Here’s why the Cubs are probably the biggest winners of the July and August trade deadlines. “Cole Hamels, Daniel Murphy and Jesse Chavez have been amazing for the Cubs.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Two important takeaways from a rain-suspended game at Wrigley. “The Cubs will have to face much better teams in the postseason, but they won’t see a better arm than deGrom. “
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): It’s now been a month since the Cubs last lost a series. “...things get really challenging from here for the Cubs.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Hamels has been MLB’s best starter since joining Cubs, perhaps by throwing more fastballs. “Since becoming a Cub, the veteran lefty has thrown far more four-seamers to opponents.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Drew Smyly to start rehab assignment in South Bend. “...getting back in time to have any real impact this season seems very unlikely at this point.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Maddon ‘OK’ with shared closer role. “We have a lot of options out there,” Maddon said. “Whatever it takes, I’m good with that. I think a lot of these guys can finish a game.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): There’s good news and bad news regarding injured Cubs closer Brandon Morrow. “...we still might be looking at two or three more weeks of no Morrow.”
  • Sean Sears (NBC Sports Chicago*): Anthony Rizzo is officially team snack mom for the Cubs. “Rizzo may be taking a page out of the Joe Maddon handbook on how to keep players loose...”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): The inside story of how the Cubs landed Murphy. “I frequent MLB Trade Rumors,” Murphy said.
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Javier Baez’ plate discipline doesn’t matter anymore. “Javy is hitting the ball much harder on a consistent basis.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): As he works to get healthy, Addison Russell is trying to jumpstart his game. “I bring a lot of things to the table when it comes to my position and the role that I’m supposed to play,” Russell said.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register* {$}): Kris Bryant indicates that his rehab stint in Iowa may be coming to an end. “We’re still trying to figure out the plan. ... but it looks like there might be rain on Friday,” Bryant said. “So, who knows? If I don’t play another game here, I think it’ll be all right, too.”
  • James Hitchen (*): Bryant feels good after rehab action with Iowa. “I want to get back out on the field with the guys,” he said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Bryant could be back with Cubs on Saturday. “KB coming back is going to be huge for us,” Rizzo said. “He gets on base and works at-bats.”
  • Asher Feltman (Minor League Ball): Toronto Billy Jay: Billy McKinney interview. “...the rebuilding Blue Jays added him to their growing collection of young players.”
  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic {$}): Dollars and sense: Kyle Brandt finally makes it to Soldier Field and it looks like KapNet is coming to your TV. “One of the most fun games to play right now is making up fake schedules for CubsNet.”
  • Lori Rackl (Chicago Tribune* {$}): First look: Wrigleyville’s new baseball-inspired boutique hotel, The Wheelhouse, opens Saturday. “...nods to America’s pastime are peppered throughout the restored four-story greystone.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.