I checked in on the relevant scores around the league this morning (worth doing? do you want to see that each morning?), and reiterated the Cubs’ unlikely shot at the NL Central, despite climbing to within 8.5 games. Unlikely does not equal impossible, of course – as of this morning, BP puts the Cubs’ division odds at 4.9% and FanGraphs has it at 4.4%. If the Cardinals go .500 the rest of the way, they’ll finish with 95 wins. To get to 96, the Cubs would have to go 38-19 over their final 57 games. Insert Jim Carrey-Lauren Holly picture.
- Jorge Soler’s defensive issues are getting more attention these days, and even Joe Maddon concedes there is work to be done (ESPN). The ESPN article has a chart of Soler’s 12 “misplays,” as coded by Baseball Information Solutions, and it actually looks fairly generous to me. Like I’ve said before, though, we’re talking about a 23-year-old with so little professional experience and with three straight years with different leg injuries, so there’s definitely some allowance for the struggles.
- More on Soler’s defense from Maddon, who insists the work is going on behind the scenes, here at CSN. At least the bat might be starting to come around, as Soler is hitting .276/.354/.379 over his last 15 games with a strikeout rate under 30%. Nope, those aren’t overwhelming numbers (it’s actually an even 100 wRC+), but it’s a start.
- Starlin Castro’s two-double performance last night was just his second game this year with more than one extra-base hit (Cubs.com). He also made a couple nice plays in the field, and it was an all-around great game for Castro. Over the past week, Castro is hitting .296/.321/.370, which is, you know, not great. But it’s miles better than he’s been. Also, it’s a tiny sample. But, you know, we want to believe. It’s a stretch-to-find-positives kind of morning! The Cubs have won six in a row. I’m feeling good. Get off my back.
- If you feel like getting nostalgic for favorite Cubs players (and/or chuckling), this thread has plenty.
- Addison Russell is the best dancer on the Cubs, and other info bits from Jason Hammel here at ESPN.
- I am happy to see Welington Castillo having success this year after not really getting a chance to break out with the Cubs this year, but when I think about the Cubs’ return on the trade (Yoervis Medina has not had success), I do get bummed. (Watch a start with Zack Godley pitching to Castillo and you’re likely to feel some feelings.) I also get bummed seeing this and realizing the Cubs never made this happen:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 4, 2015
- The end of last night’s enjoyable win in six seconds:
Jump up, jump up and get down. https://t.co/SWvJ6XBTXH
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 5, 2015