It’s another Wednesday night here at BCB After Dark: the hippest hot spot for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re going dark for a few days after tonight, so you picked a good night to stop by. We’ve got a great show lined up for you tonight. Of course, we think that every night, even when it’s not true. There is still a good table waiting for you to sit down. Come on in and celebrate with us. 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.
The Cubs won their second game in a row tonight, 4-2 over the Mets. The hero today was Marcus Stroman, who gave up a two-run home run to Francisco Alvarez in the third inning but was otherwise brilliant over eight innings. Nico Hoerner hit a home run and the defense turned three huge double plays.
There’s also this about tomorrow’s game.
David Ross announces Kyle Hendricks will pitch tomorrow, pushing Jameson Taillon to Saturday.— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) May 25, 2023
The Cubs won two games in a row for the first time in two and a half weeks. I’m not going to break out Judy Garland for that, but I would have if the Cubs swept the Mets. But since this is the final After Dark of the week, if the Cubs win tomorrow, you can see the video here. Maybe the Cubs win seven in a row and we run Judy for the first time on Monday.
One downside from tonight’s game is that Christopher Morel did not hit a home run, snapping his streak at five games. Anyway, last night I asked you how many home runs would Morel hit this season. We got a nearly-perfect bell curve on the results and 42 percent of you picked the middle option of 26 to 30 home runs. Exactly 29 percent of you thought he’d hit less than that and 29 percent thought he’d hit more. Second place was 21 to 15 home runs with 26 percent.
Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.
We lost the great Anna Mae Bullock, a.k.a. Tina Turner today at the age of 83. Turner wasn’t a jazz singer, she was a pure power soul, rhythm and blues and rock singer. She also wasn’t primarily a songwriter. Although Turner did write some songs, the only one that you’d really claim was one of her “Greatest Hits” that she also wrote was the autobiographical “Nutbush City Limits.” I don’t think there’s a jazz version of “Nutbush City Limits” out there. I don’t think I’d want to hear it if it did exist.
But when Tina Turner was plotting her comeback after breaking free of her abusive husband Ike Turner, she recorded a version of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” that was a top-30 hit in 1983 and later re-released on the Private Dancer album that catapulted her to superstardom. So here’s saxophonist Eric Alexander doing “Let’s Stay Together” in 1997. With Jim Rotondi on trumpet, Charles Earland on organ, Peter Bernstein on guitar and Joe Farnsworth on drums.
Tina Turner’s most famous film was one that she doesn’t appear in. It’s the 1993 biographical film What’s Love Got to Do With it? starring Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner. She did contribute a pair of songs to the picture.
But Tina Turner did have a couple of acting roles. She was the Acid Queen in the 1975 Ken Russell-directed version of The Who’s Tommy. But most famously, she played Aunty Entity in the 1985 film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
I got a box set of all the Mad Max movies as a gift last Christmas and I’ve watched all of them. I’ve mentioned before that I think Mad Max: Fury Road is my favorite movie of the 21st century. Turner isn’t in that film, nor is Mel Gibson. But I think it’s damn-near close to a perfect action movie and that Charlize Theron should have won an Oscar for her role as Furiosa. Heck, you could have given Nicholas Hoult a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Nux and I wouldn’t have complained.
Beyond Thunderdome is not as good as Fury Road. It is, however, much better than the low-budget first Mad Max film. In fact, you could argue that the Mad Max series is the only film series in which each successive film is better than the one before it. I wouldn’t argue that, because I think Mad Max II/The Road Warrior is better than Beyond Thunderdome, but I can see the argument for Beyond Thunderdome. That argument is basically that Beyond Thunderdome has Tina Turner in it (and her song “We Don’t Need Another Hero”) and The Road Warrior doesn’t. Her presence is the argument that Beyond Thunderdome is better. She was terrific in the movie, although she’s not in it enough.
I obviously wasn’t prepared to write about Tina Turner or Beyond Thunderdome tonight, so I’m not going to write much more. But on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, one of their recurring bits is to ask celebrity guests the same set of questions to see what their answer is. One of those questions is “What’s your favorite action movie?” Since Colbert has shut down production because of the writer’s strike, I’m going to steal the question for tonight’s discussion:
What is your favorite action movie and why is it Mad Max: Fury Road? Seriously, you can name any one film as your favorite and it doesn’t have to be Mad Max: Fury Road, as long as you don’t mind being wrong. But just give us one film. I’m going to make it hard. It’s easy to list five or six movies and say you love them all equally. Take a stand. To remember, however, if you say your favorite action movie is Die Hard tonight, you’re not held to that decision the rest of your life. You can change your mind at a later date when you realize that Mad Max: Fury Road is better. You can even say Beyond Thunderdome tonight, but we’d all just assume you’re saying that to honor Tina Turner. But we wouldn’t blame you for that.
(Seriously. I’ve never seen a celebrity answer that question on Colbert with Fury Road. Maybe next time Colbert will make Riley Keough or Zoë Kravitz or someone who was in the picture take the questionnaire.)
So what’s your favorite action film?
Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.
Tonight I was going to ask you which Cubs pitcher you would want to start a one-game Wild Card playoff. Then I remembered that MLB got rid of the one-game playoff and replaced it with a best-of-three Wild Card series. They also got rid of the one-game tiebreaker games at the end of the season.
So imagine that that on Sunday, October 1, the Cubs are facing the Brewers at Miller Park. That’s not much of a stretch—it’s going to happen. But let’s say that the winner of that game wins the NL Central and the loser misses the playoffs. Who do you want to start that game? Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele or someone else?
Both Stroman and Steele have been terrific this season. Stroman was magnificent tonight, allowing just two runs over eight innings. Stroman has made 11 starts this year and turned in 9 quality starts of six or more innings and three or fewer runs. His ERA is 2.95 and he has an record of 4-4.
Steele has also been very, very good. Coming in to tonight, Steele was second in the NL in bWAR for pitchers with 2.3, behind only the Giants Alex Cobb. (Stroman was 1.7 bWAR. I assume that increased after tonight’s performance, but I wouldn’t hazard to guess what it is now.)
Steele has made ten starts and has an ERA of 2.20 and a record of 6-1. He has eight quality starts in his ten appearances.
So which one do you give the ball for that winner-take-all start against the Brewers? Assume that both pitchers are fully rested. I know that’s not realistic, but it’s necessary for our purposes here. David Ross could get either one fully rested with enough notice.
If you want to start Drew Smyly or someone else, vote in the third category and tell us who.
Which Cubs’ pitcher do you want on the mound in a winner-take-all last game of the season?
Which starter do you want pitching in a winner-take-all game?
This poll is closed
Someone else (list in comments)
Thank you for another successful week here at BCB After Dark. This week has certainly been a better one than the last one. Was it because of you or because the Cubs won? Can’t it be both?
Be sure to clean up your table and recycle any cans and bottles. Get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again next week for more BCB After Dark.