jon lester cubs featureWith summer coming to an end, we’re busily trying to cram as much family activity in as we can, which means we’re headed to an amusement park today (King’s Island, to be specific). Although most of the time will be focused on kid-friendly stuff, I’m going to try and steal away periodically to ride some of the bigger-boy stuff.

There should be normal posting today, but if there’s any breaking news or rumors, you may have to live with me being a few minutes late, and just offering up a phone-typed short thing.

Which reminds me: the last time I went to King’s Island was four years ago, almost to the day. I remember it extremely well, because, as my friends were riding rides, I sat out a chunk of the day on my phone. Why? Because four years ago yesterday, the Chicago Cubs revealed that long-time GM Jim Hendry had been fired, ushering in a new era of the organization – an era of which we’re only just now seeing the fruits at the big league level.

  • Of course, the fruits don’t show up every single game. The Cubs lost badly again last night to the Tigers, but it’s another one of those games I can break down and not really feel too badly about: Jon Lester got blown up, and that’s certainly disappointing. On the other hand, the wind was howling out, he’s always seemed to struggle with that Tigers core for whatever reason, and, absent the grand slam, maybe it wouldn’t have been that bad after all. Then, the rest of the damage came off of Jason Motte (which you don’t like to see, but it happens) and James Russell in mop-up duty, rather than match-up duty. The Cubs offense scored eight, Kris Bryant looked locked in, and they’ll probably win 95% of the games in which they score that much. You could say a lot of this same stuff about the loss on Tuesday, which included Pedro Strop giving up some completely flukey runs that led to the loss. And, on Sunday, the Cubs got dominated by Chris Sale, who does that to pretty much everyone. Shrug.
  • I’m bummed by the last three losses, but I don’t feel too much differently about the team than I did when they were riding a nine-game winning streak.
  • That said, just how crazy were the two losses to the Tigers? The Cubs haven’t given up that many hits in a two-game stretch since 1990! (ESPN) Somehow, that makes me feel even better. This was an extreme thing.

  • Jon Lester had no answers for his rough outing last night, but not necessarily in a bad way (, CSN). He felt like he made decent pitches and simply got hit. I didn’t think he looked all that bad, either, for what it’s worth, so I am also lacking for answers. I guess you see how he looks next time out, and, if he looks fine, then it’s just a really unfortunate blip.
  • As for the rest of the non-Arrieta rotation, Joe Maddon says he’s not worried, because there are no health issues ( Guys just have some things to fix.
  • A 22-year-old rookie said this: “I don’t like to strike out. I know they’re going to happen. And I like to walk. So I’m always trying to put together long at-bats. Even if you have a nice long at-bat and [strike out], I put that in the win column.” (Tribune) That’s an extremely advanced, extremely mature understanding of things. That’s Kyle Schwarber, folks.
  • Pretty cool touch in last night’s throwback game:

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