It’s another night here at BCB After Dark: the late-night after-party for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Come sit with us tonight. We’ve got a chair reserved for you. There’s no cover charge this evening. Tell us if there is anything we can do to make your stay more enjoyable. Bring your own beverage.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.
Tonight, the Cubs looked impressive with a 7-2 win over the New York Mets. Drew Smyly pitched well and got the win. Mark Leiter Jr. continues to be the one guy in the pen that David Ross can count on every night. But Jeremiah Estrada looked good too. The Cubs got home runs by Seiya Suzuki, Matt Mervis and Christopher Morel. More on Morel below.
Last night I pointed out that the Cubs have had problems with talent—especially in the bullpen, and have also had some horrendous luck hitting in the clutch this season. So I asked what was the bigger problem—bad talent or bad luck? The majority seem to believe the Cubs just aren’t good enough as 63 percent of you voted that the problem was in the talent.
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I don’t normally write about movies. I did write a few words about Psycho (1960) last night, so you can check that out if you missed it. But I always have time for jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Tonight we have a piece from organist Charles Earland, performing a track from his 1972 album Intensity. It’s a cover of the Chicago song “Happy ‘Cause I’m Going Home.” That’s Chicago the band, not Chicago the city. I figure most of you realized that, but you can never be too sure. But the song fits, because the Chicago Cubs have got to be happy to be home after that last terrible road trip and the win this evening at Wrigley.
Welcome back to all of you who skip the music.
Since being called up from Triple-A Iowa, Christopher Morel has been on a tear that Cub fans haven’t seen since the days of Sammy Sosa. I mean that literally, as Morel’s home run tonight was the fifth-straight game in which he’s homered. The last Cub to do that? Sammy Sosa, who did it from June 3 to June 8 in that magical 1998 season.
Morel also has nine home runs already this year. That’s second on the team behind 12 for Patrick Wisdom. But whereas Wisdom has played 42 games, or about a quarter of a full season, Morel has only played 12 games in the majors. That also puts Morel in good company.
most HR in player’s 1st 12 games of season, since 1900:— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) May 24, 2023
1976 Mike Schmidt: 11
2023 Christopher Morel: 9
2001 Luis Gonzalez: 9
1997 Larry Walker: 9
I know the records just don’t go back before 1900, but considering how few home runs were hit in the 19th Century, I think it’s safe to assume that only Mike Schmidt has hit more home runs in his first 12 games of a season than Morel has.
I was a fan of Morel as he came up through the minor leagues, but I envisioned him more of a poor-man’s Ben Zobrist. He wouldn’t walk as much as Zobrist and he’d strike out more, which would give him a worse OBP. But I thought Morel would be valuable because, like Zobrist, he could play all over the diamond and hit 20 to 25 home runs a year in his prime. The power surge that Morel has displayed this year (and last year, to be honest) has been remarkable.
Morel would have to really slow down to only hit 20 home runs this year. He already has nine in the majors, but it’s 20 if you count the 11 he hit in Iowa. But tonight we’re only interested in how many home runs Morel will hit in the majors this season.
So what’s your estimate on the number of home runs that Christopher Morel will hit this season? He’s already got nine and there are 115 games left. Morel won’t play in all 115 of those games, of course, but if he keeps hitting home runs he’s going to keep playing. So can he hit twenty homers this year? Thirty? More? Get your predictions down now.
How many major league home runs will Christopher Morel hit this year?
Fewer than 20
21 to 25
26 to 30
31 to 35
36 or more
Also, do you think that anyone could weigh Christopher Morel? MLB still lists his official weight as 145 pounds. They just weigh these Dominican players at 16 and that’s their official weight for the rest of their career. But someone soon is going to point out that Morel is hitting all these home runs while weighing less than Freddie Patek, and we know Morel does not weigh less than the five-foot-five-inch Patek did.
Thank you all for stopping by this evening. I hope you were able to celebrate the Cubs’ win responsibly. And we hope you enjoyed your time here. Please get home safely. Tell your friends about us. Tip the waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow night for more BCB After Dark.