- As expected, there was a lot of frustration after last night’s loss, with each of Joe Maddon and Jason Hammel feeling like the game was given away (Cubs.com). Hammel, while not pointing the finger at his teammates (three errors leading to three unearned runs), has reason to be perturbed, given that he was a mix of great and dominant. The seven-inning gem lowered his ERA to 2.70, his FIP to 3.03, and his xFIP to 3.09. His ridiculous K/BB is now up to an even more ridiculous 8.17. Hammel is now 13th in baseball in xFIP, 16th in FIP, 16th in WAR, and fourth in K/BB.
- In the Cubs’ last two losses, they’ve been the benefactor of dominating starting pitching (Jake Arrieta, then Hammel), but haven’t managed to win. Hopefully they can get good performances the next two nights from Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks.
- I won’t belabor the three errors beyond the EBS and this Cubs.com account with relevant quotes. Mistakes were made. Moving on.
- Joe Maddon stays apprised of Javier Baez’s progress at AAA Iowa – the approach is improving, with fewer strikeouts and more walks as a result – but he wouldn’t share a sense of when Baez could return to the Cubs (CSN).
- Maddon says he’s still not worried about the way Anthony Rizzo crowds the plate without any kind of body armor (Tribune).
- There was another non-story LOLCubs moment yesterday, as a certain site blew up a local report about the pavers at Wrigley – those personalized bricks that were removed for the renovation – being found in a landfill downstate. The site, to which I’m not going to link, shook its page-view-grabbing fist … except the Cubs simply did exactly what they had already told folks who bought those pavers that they would be doing, as detailed in this takedown at Obstructed View. It doesn’t get much more non-story than that one.
- Less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, 2014 over slot Cubs 6th rounder Dylan Cease is already touching 99 mph with his fastball (TCR). That’s nuts. The command usually comes back next, and, if it does, he could be special.
- Travel the world with your BN shirt, and get a Bullet!
— Ben Pflederer (@drbenpf) May 19, 2015