I’m headed home from the bachelor party weekend in northern Michigan. I shot skeet for the first time yesterday (it may shock you to learn, but if it doesn’t say “Nerf” on it, I probably have never short or even held it before), and I’m told I was pretty good for a novice. And then I had a really good steak. And then I won $10 playing blackjack. So yesterday was a solid day.
But all that means I’m traveling today, so I’m likely on the road as you’re reading this. There should still be plenty to read in advance of today’s game, though it make take me until this afternoon and/or tomorrow to get to everything that’s popped up the last couple days while I was being A MAN.
- The Cubs come back to Wrigley today to host the Nationals, and Joe Maddon has mentioned how he’s not loving the idea of his guys playing a West Coast day game followed immediately by another West Coast day game (ESPN). Hopefully the Cubs are feeling as rested as possible.
- In general, it’s a really tough stretch ahead for the Cubs: three against the Nationals (lead NL East), three against the Royals (best record in baseball), three against the Marlins (maybe they’ll keep struggling), four more against the Nationals (they’ve won 19 of 24 – yikes), and then two against the Tigers (4th best record in the AL). To date, the Cubs have now had one of the easier schedules by opponent winning percentage, so I suppose they were due for a stretch like this. If the Cubs could split the 12 games against the Nationals, Royals, and Tigers, you’d have to feel very good about that. Win that Marlins series in the middle, and it’s a really good stretch, all things considered.
- The Cubs are looking ahead to the challenge of playing great teams (CSN). If the extent to which they played down to the Diamondbacks is any indication, perhaps the Cubs will be at their best playing the best.
- Jorge Soler isn’t thrilled with his production so far this year (Tribune), but he’s been on a little bit of a hot streak. On the year, Soler is hitting .280/.342/.411, which is above average (105 wRC+). The .411 BABIP is elevated, though his batted ball data (and the eye) suggests he’s crushing the ball when he does make contact.