Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the hippest hideout for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Please come on in. The party still going on here, but it’s not the same without you. There’s no cover charge this evening and the dress code is casual. 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 beat the Giants tonight, 11-8, in a thrilling, wind-blowing-out slugfest. But whereas the Giants hit four home runs, they totalled just five runs from those four. The Cubs hit only two—Seiya Suzuki and Christopher Morel—but that also accounted for five runs. On top of that, the Cubs got some clutch hitting by going 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position. And while neither team covered themselves in glory defensively (the wind was messing with the fielders too), the Cubs took better advantage of the Giants mistakes.
Overall, it was a great win. And although the Brewers won to keep the Cubs 2.5 games behind them, the Phillies lost, meaning the Cubs are only a game and a half behind Philadelphia for the first Wild Card and home-field advantage in the Wild Card round.
If the Cubs win Wednesday afternoon, I’ll break out Judy tomorrow night. I don’t want to overwork her—MGM did that and it led to some pretty bad consequences.
Last night, I asked you if you thought that the pitch clock should be relaxed in the playoffs. By a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent, you said “no.” I should also commend you all for some very good discussion on the subject in the comments. I was unsure if it was a good topic for a poll and discussion, but it turned out to be a terrific one.
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I don’t do a movie essay, although you can read what I wrote about The Trouble With Harry yesterday. But I always have time for some jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Tonight I’ve got a bit of Latin jazz, which I don’t feature often enough. This is Puerto Rican alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón in studio playing “El Negro Bembón.” This is a cover of a song that was a hit for Puerto Rico singing legend Ismael Rivera in the 1950s.
Luis Perdomo is on piano, Hans Glawischnig is on bass and Henry Cole is on drums.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz.
Tonight’s question is about the man who isn’t here, namely Marcus Stroman. Stroman was the Cubs’ best pitcher for the first half of the season, but he got knocked around in London and hasn’t been right since. Stroman had a 2.28 ERA before that game with the Cardinals and a 9.00 ERA in seven starts since then.
It came out, to probably no one’s surprise, that Stroman was pitching through a hip injury in July. It was expected to be a short stay on the injured list, but while rehabbing, Stroman came down with an unrelated rib cage injury. It wasn’t an injury that anyone had seen from a pitcher and there was no timetable for his return.
Stroman threw a bullpen in Arizona on Monday and reportedly felt fine afterwards. But throwing a bullpen is a long way from being back in the starting rotation and there are only 23 games left to the season. Stroman will have to build up strength and then probably have to go on a rehab assignment with Iowa. There isn’t much time left to get Stroman back up to speed.
The Cubs say they haven’t made any decision on whether to rush Stroman back before the end of the season. On the one hand, a healthy Stroman pitching like he did in the first half of the season would be a huge boost in the playoffs. On the other hand, as manager David Ross said, “I don’t know if it makes sense to take a guy from throwing bullpens or live BPs and throwing him into a pennant race . . .” The Cubs don’t have much room for error in making the playoffs at this point. At least, not if they want to catch either the Phillies or the Brewers for home field advantage.
Of course, since Stroman can opt out of his contract at the end of this season, I may also be asking if Stro has thrown his final game as a Cub. But that’s a different question for another time.
So will we see Marcus Stroman pitch for the Cubs again this year?
Will Marcus Stroman pitch for the Cubs again this year?
This poll is closed
Thank you to everyone who stopped by this evening. We’ve been in a good mood and you always bring a smile to our faces. Please clean up around your table. Recycle any cans or bottles. Get home safely. And join us again tomorrow for more BCB After Dark.