There was a bit of a dip there during the losing streak – baseball gets you so high and so low, often in immediate succession – but I’d say Cubs fans are once again feeling good. Last night’s game was just a blast to watch (when I wasn’t recording the latest BNTV episode, that is), and, once again, we were teased by the possibility of what could be in 2015. I’ll have more on Jake Arrieta’s amazing start soon.
- Speaking of the good feelings: last night’s win gave the Cubs 67 on the season, one more than 2013. Thus, “improvement” is guaranteed. No, it won’t be dramatic improvement, however these final games shake out. But, at a minimum, even if you were looking solely at the record, no one will be able to say that the Cubs didn’t get a little better this season. And, indeed, if you look at the composition of the roster, and their performance as they started utilizing guys that’ll be a part of the team next year? The “improvement” is quite clear. It’s just improvement, no quotes.
- Anthony Rizzo’s night off was part of a plan to ease him back into the lineup after missing a few weeks with a lower back strain, but Arismendy Alcantara’s night off was due to a wrist issue (Cubs.com) that required an MRI (he crashed into the wall making a great catch on Monday). Hopefully it turns up nothing, but obviously it was bothering him after the game. If we hear more, I’ll update. As with any injury this time of year, it’s absorbable because the offseason is coming anyway, but, obviously, all things equal, you’d rather see guys head into the offseason totally healthy.
- If you missed Brandon Phillips breaking up the no-hitter last night, you can watch it here. I’d urge you to focus on the amazing effort by Matt Szczur, rather than Phillips staring down his hit because he knew he just broke up the no-no. Szczur said he would have run through the wall to catch it if he had to (Cubs.com). I believe him.
- Kyle Schwarber came to Wrigley Field yesterday to visit with the team after a great first season in the organization. This is awesome:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 16, 2014
- Also awesome? This Paul Sullivan piece on Schwarber’s visit, replete with swoon-worthy quotes. Example? “Schwarber said he had ‘no clue’ whether the Cubs would draft him, but said he told his adviser ‘I wanted to be a Cub, so if you can make it work, make it work.'” Be still my beating heart. If you’ve got the time, make sure to read that article.
- Interesting note in that piece? Schwarber was essentially Rob Zastryzny’s personal catcher at Daytona, which aligned, chronologically, with a particularly excellent stretch for Zastryzny.
- Anthony Rizzo is the well-deserved Cubs nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
- Edwin Jackson is expected to start on Friday, coming back from his lat injury. The Cubs play the Dodgers on Friday. Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start Friday. You may run with that.