The Cubs had a good week, winning five of seven — two of three from the Nationals, three of four from the Cardinals. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come before the trade deadline.
Cody Bellinger. That is all.
Bellinger had a hit in all seven games — and multi-hit games in five of the seven. Overall: .464/.467/.750 (13-for-28) with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBI. I’m expecting him to be named N.L. Player of the Week later today, and he’s got a shot at Player of the Month. For July: .452/.475/.795 (33-for-73) with four doubles, seven home runs, 22 RBI and 18 runs scored — and a week left in the month.
Jameson Taillon appears to have turned the corner
Taillon made two starts this week and both of them were good-to-excellent. He allowed four runs in 11⅓ innings for a 3.18 ERA, walked two and struck out 10. Last three starts: 1.86 ERA, 0.981 WHIP, only one home run in 19⅓ innings.
Keep that up and the Cubs will do just fine the rest of this season.
Yan Gomes had himself a week
You’re all familiar with the two triples Gomes had in Thursday’s game against the Cardinals, which was the first time for that for a catcher in quite some time. (Unfortunately, the Cubs lost the game.)
But Gomes did more than that last week, batting .318/.370/.546 (7-for-22) with a double in addition to the two triples, and six RBI, raising his season OPS to .723.
Christopher Morel’s game needs some work
Morel played in five of the seven games and batted .177/.333/.177 (3-for-17) with nine strikeouts. Beyond that, he made a couple of critical misplays in the field.
I find myself wondering whether he might be sent back to Iowa whenever Nick Madrigal is ready to return.
Drew Smyly, yikes
Smyly wound up essentially taken out of the rotation when his spot came up Saturday. Instead, the Cubs used Michael Fulmer as an opener and Smyly followed, with an outing that wasn’t very good (3⅔ innings, six hits, five runs, four earned), as well as a fielding error.
Last five starts: 9.86 ERA, 2.048 ERA, six home runs in 21 innings. Yikes again.
That has led to this:
Cubs manager David Ross declined to say how the team plans to use Drew Smyly moving forward: “We’ll address that when his time comes. It’ll be TBD again.” The Cubs went with Michael Fulmer as an opener and then used Smyly out of the bullpen in Saturday’s 8-6 win over St. Louis.— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) July 23, 2023
Smyly’s next turn would come up Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis. As always, we await developments.
Is Julian Merryweather being overworked?
Last four outings over the week: 6.75 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, one home run in four innings. Merryweather doesn’t throw strikes a lot of the time, meaning that even when he gets through an inning scoreless (as he did Saturday), it takes extra pitches — 18 in that game.
Today’s off day likely comes at a really good time for him, as well as the rest of the team.
How many games will the Cubs win on the road trip to the South Side and St. Louis?
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