Tonight at 8pm CT, 9pm ET: a new episode of BNTV records. Get your last minute questions in to bntv at bleachernation dot com, and join in the fun tonight as we record live. If you can be there for the live recording, no worries – the episode is available any time thereafter for your visual consumption. Check out past episodes at BNTV’s YouTube page (to which you can subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes or other videos I publish there).
- I couldn’t see it on the video, but apparently Anthony Rizzo trolled his teammates/the fans after the home run celebration last night by walking out of the huddle clutching his back, as if in pain (Cubs.com). It was a joke. I’m glad I didn’t see it, because I probably would have collapsed from the sympathy pains in my own back.
- After the game, Rizzo put things into perspective – his perspective, at least – when discussing the Cubs’ bright future (CSN): “Right now, it’s just a work in progress. I see what we have here and it’s exciting, but I’m not going to get on the hype train like everyone else does. I’ll make sure we stay in our lane, and when we get to where we want to be, you’ll see me jumping with excitement and joy.” That’s the perfect attitude. Cubs fans will handle the hype train.
- Last night’s scoreless performance helped bring Travis Wood’s ERA back under five, down to 4.86. You don’t love the three walks over six innings, but it seemed like he was getting squeezed a bit. Brooks’ PitchF/X does not agree, for what it’s worth – it looks like Wood was generously getting strikes down in the zone and below.
- Edwin Jackson (lat) could make a start or two before the season ends, but he’ll throw a simulated game first (Jesse Rogers). I suppose it would be nice if he could head into the offseason healthy and coming off a good start, but, at this point, the die is cast.
- Wayne Drehs with a great long-form piece on two of baseball’s brightest young stars, Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw.
- FanGraphs will be giving out a Player of the Year Award at the end of this year. The Cubs won’t have any legit contenders this year … but next year?
- Michael Bourn as an object lesson in how a bunch of small declines can add up to one huge decline. (Also, I know there’s some data out there to support the idea that speed guys do not decline earlier than other players, but it sure seems like when *all* of a guy’s other skills are predicated on good speed, he’s going to struggle as he heads into his 30s and the speed declines (which we know it does for everyone). Bourn seems to be an instance of that, with all of his baserunning, defense, and even on-base skills regressing alongside his speed loss.)
- Obligatory new COOKIES picture: