I’m excited for Monday, because that’s when I’ll be announcing the details of this year’s Trade Deadline Blogathon. I’ve been working on it for months now, and I think we’re all really going to enjoy it this time around. So, stay tuned!
- Kevin Gregg entered last night’s game with a two-run lead, and promptly gave up a homer and a double. Cubs fans clenched, but Gregg remained calm. A sac bunt, a play at home, and a deep, deep fly out later, he’d notched his 12th save in 12 chances. The compliments for Gregg after a performance like that were pointed in a way that suggested relief that there’s been a change. “You have a calm because you know he’s not going to implode with walks,” Sveum said, per Sahadev Sharma. “They’re going to have to get their hits to beat him. The times he’s given up a run, they’ve hit the ball, he hasn’t walked guys or those kind of things. He knows if he throws strikes, they gotta get hits to beat him. We’ve seen many closers over the years do a nice job just because they don’t walk anybody.” Given the recent Carlos Marmol DFA, and the obvious issues that came with him at the back of the pen, it’s hard to read Sveum’s comments any other way.
- Some of that is just after-the-fact narrative, of course. If Carlos Marmol had saved a game in the exact same fashion, we’d probably note how lucky it was that he didn’t blow things (that would-be-game-winning-homer that Nate Schierholtz caught at the way would probably be described differently and discussed much more). Since Gregg has been consistent and reliable, we talk about his calm, steady presence in the face of a tough outing. Also: it’s gotta be the goggles.
- Although it’s exciting to hear about him making the Futures Game, it’s fair to be concerned about Jorge Soler’s leg at this point. He fouled a ball off of his shin almost two weeks ago, and the injury was not thought to be serious (what else is new?). It hasn’t been healing well, apparently, and he was examined in Chicago yesterday. Not sure of the results, but obviously that doesn’t sound great. Hopefully he doesn’t miss too much more time.
- Speaking of the Futures Game, Luke mentioned Soler’s and Arismendy Alcantara’s inclusion this morning in the Minor League Daily, and he also mentioned a piece that I want to highlight here as well: you can help get Javier Baez onto the World roster as well with your vote here.
- Dale Sveum on Starlin Castro’s long-awaited day off this week, per Sharma: “That’s what we’re hoping for, that was part of the day off. Hopefully he had an opportunity to kick back – I didn’t need to pinch hit him or anything last night – he just got to kick back and enjoy the day. So hopefully he gets back to being the player he is.” Castro responded with two hits last night, and another rocket down the line that easily could have been a double if not for a nice play by Aramis Ramirez at third.
- It sounds like Alfonso Soriano will DH regularly over the six upcoming games in Seattle and Oakland. Hopefully that gets his bat going, as it has in the past.
- Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Anthony Rizzo’s debut with the Chicago Cubs. Rizzo’s year with the Cubs has been characterized by hot streaks and cold streaks, but the overall performance has been something you’d gladly take from your first baseman.
- Politics, man. If you are a Cubs fan now, and plan to be a politician in the future, you better be careful how widely you espouse your Cubs fandom – because you’re stuck with it from then on, lest you be called a flip-flopper.
- The Cubs’ lack of championships is a metaphor for the slow recovery of the economy or something. I’m not as smart as the Wall Street Journal.