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Cub Tracks has a winning personality

Cubs, simCubs, and MLB news — Maybe baseball is back?SimCubs roll on, minor-league simreport, and other stories

How sweet it is

The simCubs roll on and are now 53-21. Jon Lester didn’t get his 11th as he departed with men on base, but on the other hand, he gets a no decision after leaving with men on base. Jesus Luzardo came on and did his usual excellent job for the recorded win, the rest of the bullpen followed suit (mostly) and at least didn’t allow the tying run, and the Cubs broke open a close game in the sixth. Jason Kipnis continued his solid season with two home runs, (one of which was a grand slam), driving in six runs, Anthony Rizzo (22, 23) clubbed two of his own to extend his league lead and drive in 4 runs of his own, and Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras added solo shots as the Cubs won 14-6.

Lots of highlights! Lester got the scoring started with a sac fly and that was it until Kipnis hit his first titanic blast to get the party going. That opened the floodgates.

You should also know that the Iowa Cubs are 50-16 and 17 games ahead of the Redbirds, who are 33-33. That’s by far the best record in the league, and there are a hos of reason why as players are fighting to remain on the radar of a first-place MLB club. Josh Phegley is hitting a robust .352 with 13 HR and league-leading 47 RBI and .444 OBP, .626 SLG, and 1.070 OPS. Albert Almora Jr., Steven Souza Jr. and Brett Phillips are all contributing their good hitting and MLB exoerience, but the real strength of Iowa is the pitching — Miguel Rincon is 9-1, Jharel Cotton is 7-1, Adbert Alzolay is 7-3, Danny Hultzen is 5-2, and staff ace Max Fried is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 1.1 WAR in just over a month since he was sent down. Plus there’s a selection of players on the Iowa shuttle that are helping the cause.

The Smokies have improved and are now 35-31, good for second place, and they’re only three games behind the 38-28 Generals. They have finally gotten over the loss of leadoff man Brennen Davis, who is tearing up Triple-A now, and have replaced him with Chad Fritz, who doesn’t exist in our reality but kicks ass in his.

Today Steven Matz faces off against Tyler Chatwood for the steak dinner. The Cubs have already cooked and eaten the meatloaf and the crowd will be awaiting a clean sweep. Al will have more about the game in the game post at 2:30 p.m. CT, and then I’ll post the actual url to the stream at 3 p.m. CT. Or you can catch the game at the BCB Media Center and also catch past games and game videos, if you want the full #simCubs experience.

And now, here’s Cub Tracks News and Notes, the only links column that really matters. As always, * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome). {$} means paywall. {$} means limited views. Italics are often used here as sarcasm font.

Commissioner Rob Manfred: “At my request, Tony Clark and I met for several hours yesterday in Phoenix. We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents. I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the Clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading!