The Wife is at a conference for the rest of the week, which means I’ll have a little less flexibility in the mornings and evenings, in terms of writing. The Little Girl is also doing Princess Camp this week – today is Ariel day! – which will require some mid-day time away. You probably won’t notice too much, in terms of a reduction in coverage, but you may notice an increase in Disney songs.
- We were all thinking it after Jake Arrieta was perfect through six, and then had to run the bases in the bottom of the inning, with a very long layoff between pitches. The first batter he faced in the 7th was Billy Hamilton, who slapped a single up the middle. Arrieta confessed after the game (Cubs.com), “I was pretty gassed there, unfortunately. It was a pretty humid night, long inning there in the sixth running the bases – which really isn’t all that tough in itself, but couple that with being on the mound and having that long layoff, it adds a little bit to it.” Damn. It was still a hell of a great start.
- After the start, Arrieta’s already absurd numbers got even better: 2.05 ERA (2nd in baseball), 2.09 FIP (3rd), 2.57 FIP (6th), 21.3 K% – BB% (8th). His 2.0 WAR is 23rd, but he’s done that in just a touch more than half the innings of the typical starter this year. He’s on pace, even after the shoulder issue in Spring Training cost him 40 to 50 innings early in the year, for just shy of 6.0 WAR this year. My mind has been boggled. The best kind of boggled.
- Sahadev Sharma writes about Arrieta’s start and his incredible year.
- Arrieta isn’t just pitching incredibly right now, he’s also flat cool:
- Backwards hat, coiffed beard, muscle shirt. He looks like a laid-back guy you want as a buddy. Just kind of, in your group, so you can send the message to the world that, although you’re not cool, you’ve clearly got a cool friend – so you must be pretty all right. And then you awkwardly try and fist bump him, because you just want to bask in reflected coolness for a moment, but you wind up looking like Michael Scott. (You can see Arrieta’s post-game interview, in which he showed off those duds, here at CSN.)
- Eli Whiteside has cleared waivers, and was outrighted to AAA Iowa. We’ll see if there’s a corresponding Iowa roster move today to confirm, but Whiteside will reportedly accept the assignment, rather than elect free agency. That would be a fine outcome, given the veteran leadership/instruction/etc. that Whiteside likely brings to the organization. The only question now is whether the I-Cubs carry three catchers, or if one of Luis Flores (27, hitting .253/.440/.356 at AAA this year) or Rafael Lopez (26, hitting .292/.398/.438 in time split between AA and AAA) is sent down to AA.
- Jorge Soler did not play again last night in Arizona after missing the previous game. He left Sunday’s game early, but there has been no word on an injury. Soler, as we know, has been rehabbing a hamstring injury. My stomach is in knots.
- Mike Olt is having a rough year on the field, but he’s still giving back off the field.