Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

jon lester cubs featureHere’s hoping the Cubs got some rest on the flight out West after celebrating yesterday’s awesome win. The Cubs have been in Chicago for nearly three weeks, and I’d imagine it’s gotta feel a little strange to go back out on the road. The good news is that the Cubs took advantage of the long stay at home with a ton of wins.

  • The ending obscured it a bit, but Jon Lester was great yesterday, especially when you considering the conditions – you wouldn’t even know the wind was howling out because he barely allowed a ball to get 10 feet off the ground. Lester allowed just one fly out the entire 8.2 innings he was in there, which is remarkable. It was a great bounce back from whatever happened in that Tigers game. After the start, Lester settled back comfortably into the top 18 in FIP, xFIP, and WAR in all of baseball.
  • On the dribbler in the 9th that Lester did not field, by the way, he says he got a bad read off of the bat, and, by the time he fixed on the ball, David Ross had already called him off (ESPN). It was a costly mistake, as it put the tying run in scoring position. But it happens. Doesn’t really take away from how strong the performance was overall.

  • In addition to the minor groin issue he’s dealing with, Addison Russell was also attending to the birth of his first child yesterday (CSN). It’s not clear if he’ll be available tonight in San Francisco, but Joe Maddon mentioned that this was a nice time to give him a little break anyway. MLB does have a three-game paternity list, so if the Cubs wanted to give Russell a break while not losing a roster spot, they could put Russell on that list, call up someone for a few days, and then bring Russell back after he’s had some time to be with his new family and to rest.
  • Joe Maddon confirmed that it’s status quo with respect to Javy Baez for now (CSN). He’ll keep getting starts at Iowa, and presumably come up at some point later this year. We discussed Baez earlier this morning.
  • The Cardinals are getting close to getting Matt Adams and Jon Jay back, each of whom will soon go out on a rehab assignment. There’s your reminder that the Cardinals are doing what they’re doing without those two guys, without Adam Wainwright, without Matt Holliday, without Randal Grichuk, without Jordan Walden.

  • If you missed out on the DraftKings contest yesterday, fear not – they’re upping the ante tonight with an even bigger $500,000 contest.
  • And if you missed the write-up last night, the Cubs have signed a possible weapon for the bench in September.
  • Some folks made a kerfuffle about the announcement that the marquee at Wrigley Field would now have a sponsor, and, as usual, it was much ado about nothing. It looks fine:

  • Scoreboard Watching and the absurd strength of the NL Central.
  • Really good thought by Jason in the comments yesterday, pointing out that the 11-pitch at bat that Anthony Rizzo worked off of Zach McAllister probably contributed to Kris Bryant getting a good look at him – and grinding him down a bit – before hitting the game-winning homer. McAllister couldn’t get Rizzo to bite on anything breaking down in the dirt, so he fired fastball after fastball. Then he tried to throw a get-me-over breaker and Bryant was ready.

  • Speaking of the walk-off, miscellaneous fun:

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