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Cub Tracks and the new Yu

Yu gets a decision, Kimbrel closes it out, and other bulletins

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs
Yu hurls
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a day off for the Cubs, following a splendid outing by Yu Darvish (and a couple of relievers) against the still-pretty-good Reds, who don’t look to be ready for the division crown this year, thank me very little. They are competitive, though. I did a double take when I saw Michael Lorenzen in center, but then I flashed on his career at Cal State-Fullerton and remembered that he’s basically a younger Jake Arrieta as far as conditioning and took it in stride just like Lorenzen took second base last night.

The Cubs have the playoff look to them again. Efficient pitching, timely hitting, good at-bats (mostly), contributions up and down the roster, etc, etc, etc. This is a streaky team and we may as well deal with that. The new Yu looks great.

Tomorrow we’ll have Cubs baseball, with the Padres coming into town. I still retain plenty of Padre-hate, which will buoy me through the weekend, and the Cubs can hopefully treat them like the cellar-dwellers they are, albeit only a few games under .500. San Diego has a few good players to watch no matter what, and they should be good games.

Stay cool if you can and stay hydrated no matter what. It’s going to be warmer there than here this weekend. And we Arizonans are used to this nonsense.

Here’s today’s Cubs News and Notes. As always, * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome). {$} means paywall. {$} means limited views.

“He’s more of an animal on the mound,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said of Darvish. “The grunting there in the sixth, reaching back when he needs it, being smart -- he’s got confidence in his fastball. It’s fun to play behind.”

That -- confidence -- was the buzzword used not only by Rizzo, but also by Maddon and Darvish.

”The more confident he is, the better off we are,” Rizzo said.

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.