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Cub Tracks has a brew

Cubs win the third game of the set, and other bullets

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Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Nice. Cubs held on for the win and are off to Washington, DC. Weird factoid:

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

Cubs News and Notes:

“When you have an anchor, that one guy at the end, who can get the three plus outs, you can manage the game differently,” Maddon said. “It’s like how we used Wade last year in Washington. If you don’t have that, you have to manipulate it. Does it become more difficult? It probably does. But it can be done.”

Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson, and Brandon Kintzler all have experience as a closer for other teams. Maddon feels Carl Edwards Jr. has the potential to be a closer. But Maddon also feels the key moment in a game could come in the sixth or seventh innings, when he may decide to call on Strop because of the matchups.

”We have other guys who are also capable of getting the last three outs,” Maddon said. — Carrie Muskat.

“It’s really difficult to replace Jason Heyward, and I think during this stretch, people should really learn to appreciate [him],” Maddon said. “Regardless of whether he’s hitting .500 or not, it doesn’t matter. You know what his presence means to us. You can see it. Not only that but his voice, his leadership. It’s there and we’re missing that right now.” — Carrie Muskat.

  • Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs fan with Down syndrome to sing national anthem at Wrigley after meeting fundraising goal. “Stefan Xidas got his wish.”
  • Sean Sears (NBC Sports Chicago*): Heyman: MLB umpires “not big fans” of Joe Maddon’s combative style. “...the umpires do not appreciate Maddon constantly going at-bat for his team, despite how charming the manager can be at times.”
  • Moshe Wilensky (Cubs Insider): Two solutions to baseball’s trading problem. “There will always be a time and place for the occasional tanked season, so trying to pretend otherwise is futile.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Rivalry or not, Cubs letting Brewers hang around in NL Central race. “This team has looked sloppy at various times this season and either found ways to win or quickly turned it around.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Joe Maddon’s circle of trust shrinking as Cubs struggle. “ Maddon figures out who he can trust, Milwaukee has picked up two games in two days.”
  • Mike Axisa (CBS Sports*): Cubs bracing for possibility closer Brandon Morrow will not return before end of season. “Chicago’s in good shape with regards to the postseason race. “
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Cubs might go to closer by committee for stretch. “...Maddon will continue to mix and match.”
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The Strop abides. “...Strop has a remarkably impressive ability to overcome misfortunes that happen while he’s on the mound and—while performing in the most stressful and pressure-packed role in baseball—refocus and get the job done with the next batter.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Drew Smyly physically ready, Cubs being careful after rehab ‘ran out of runway’. “’re gonna have to treat him with kid gloves just because of the lack of build-up that he’s had,” Jim Hickey admitted.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Are the Cubs inching closer to unleashing their secret weapon? Jose Oquendo? Nah. “At the moment, the Cubs don’t have a next step mapped out for Smyly.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Murphy HR, Baez’s wheels fuel Cubs’ 4-run 4th. “ got wild.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): David Bote’s emergence, Daniel Murphy’s arrival and what they both mean for the Cubs. “The Cubs know Bote enjoys working on his craft and will maximize his time with Murphy, who will become a free agent after this season.”
  • Adrian Garro (Cut Four*): Jhoulys Chacin tried picking off Javy Baez twice -- as Baez never moved once.
  • Mike Petriello (*): Baez’s MVP case lies in extraordinary versatility. “With the crowded race, Baez could win the award or he could finish something like seventh, and neither outcome would be all that surprising -- the competition is just that tight.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Another report out of New York connects Jed Hoyer to open New York Mets job. Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman have written about it. A healthy ration of salt is prescribed.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): State of the Cubs farm system: Nico Hoerner, Adbert Alzolay and the buzziest pitching prospects. “We also understand that we’re not the same farm system that we were four years ago, due to some graduations and some trades,” said Jason McLeod.
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): What could be the impact of Hoerner’s assignment to the Arizona Fall League? “We’ll see just how advanced he is against elite young prospects from all over baseball, and we will see how advanced he isn’t.”
  • Mary Craig (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): How not to boycott a Commissioner: Kenesaw Landis and the 1922 labor movement.

Food for thought:

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