Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

kris bryant cubs battingSo, that was a nuts 12 hours, man.

I had fully intended, regardless of where the game was at the time, to go to bed at 11pm ET last night. As The Wife aptly puts it, I’m in marathon training right now, and I need as much sleep as I can get in advance of the #BNBlogathon on Thursday and Friday.

But then the Starlin Castro/Padres rumor came out, which morphed into a Tyson Ross rumor, and I wondered if I was going to have to stay up just a little bit later. Then the Cubs/Rockies game got so crazy – with the Cubs coming back from 4-0 down and about to put things away in the 9th – that I couldn’t go to sleep if I tried. So I stayed, only to suffer through the top of the 9th (my couch cushions suffered right alongside me), and then be elated by the bottom of the 9th.

Then, once the buzz of the crazy win had slowed enough for me to think about heading to bed, the dang Rockies and Blue Jays got together on a Troy Tulowitzki trade. When all was said and done, I didn’t make it to bed until 1am ET. And, because my body is trained to get up at 6am ET, I really wasn’t able to restfully sleep past 6:30am ET or so. In the end, I’m glad I stayed up for the craziness – totally worth it – but I’m now in a bit of a sleep deficit heading toward the end of the week. Tonight, I’m absolutely going to have to go to bed before the Cubs game ends. There’s almost no way around it. My apologies in advance.

  • Lefty Ryan Buchter has officially been added to the Iowa Cubs roster after agreeing to a minor league deal with the Cubs this weekend. Additional bullpen depth looks to be increasingly important with some recent struggles at the big league level. Guys like Buchter (or Ben Rowen or Armando Rivero or even Carl Edwards, Jr.) aren’t going to come up and pitch the 8th or 9th, but they could possibly come up and pitch the middle innings, allowing guys like Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon to perhaps be relied upon in later innings.
  • Speaking of which: just like with the rotation (which will feature Dallas Beeler getting a start tonight), it’s pretty inarguable at this point that the Cubs would benefit from adding another significant arm in the bullpen. It’s unfortunate that it’s taken some blowups to hammer that home, but that’s why I’ve discussed it so much in the last few weeks: ideally, you seek upgrades and supplementation in advance to avoid these kinds of issues, rather than to address them after they become a problem.
  • Even after the win, Joe Maddon conceded that a four-run top of the 9th isn’t something you can have happening (ESPN).
  • Joe Maddon, hitting coach John Mallee, and assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske put in some extra work with Starlin Castro yesterday (Tribune). Maddon suggested that he noticed something subtle that was giving Castro issues, and that’s what they’re working on (CSN). Absent a surprise trade in the next few days – though there are rumors – the Cubs desperately need Castro to become something vaguely resembling his past self in the next couple months.

  • For what I would assume are obvious reasons, I think this is something to watch (even if the sample is far too small yet to draw any real conclusions):

  • There are explanations for all of those starts that would have nothing at all to do with Schwarber behind the plate. But, as I said, it’s worth following, especially as the sample gets larger. We can’t suddenly forget the fact that the primary reason we were so excited for the Cubs to get Miguel Montero was because of how good he is behind the plate and with pitchers.
  • Chris Coghlan, doing good work on and off the field.
  • Kris Bryant, who said that he believes in the baseball gods eventually getting you back after hitting so many warning track shots in the last week (, gets the Gatorade shower courtesy of Anthony Rizzo:

  • I love, love, love watching in-crowd reactions to dramatic moments like that. I could watch this so many times:

  • And, finally, a fun memory comparison:

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