Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

justin grimm cubs moundThe screaming ducks, man. I am changed.

  • I was disconcerted by Kyle Hendricks’ outing last night, as his command seemed quite off, which can be particularly dooming for him, since he doesn’t have the raw stuff or velocity to get away with it. I was also disconcerted by Travis Wood’s and James Russell’s struggles, as they’ve each had a really rough go over the past month or so (Wood has a 5.11/3.86/4.21 ERA/FIP/xFIP since August 5, with a staggering 13.6% BB rate; Russell’s issues go all the way back to the All-Star break: 11.08/4.90/5.01). At least the Cubs will get some reinforcements this month.
  • I was less disconcerted by Justin Grimm’s ugly outing, since he’s pretty much been flawless this year otherwise. Well, flawless except against the dang Reds:

  • That feels a little flukey, and looking back, the homer given up to Adam Duvall came on a bit of a hanger, but the one given up to Eugenio Suarez came on a down 95mph fastball on the outside edge that would have otherwise perfectly hit Kyle Schwarber’s glove. Suarez simply put a good swing on it. Tip your cap, I guess.
  • That was Duvall’s first big league Reds at bat, by the way, so tip your cap to him, too.
  • A great read on Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter and general awesomeness. And another.
  • If you want to further appreciate how strong the Cubs’ front office is, as well as its relationship to an ownership that understands the baseball guys need to be left alone to do baseball stuff, read this incredible article on the dismissal of Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik. At one point during a rough year in which his acquisitions weren’t working out, according to the Seattle Times, Zduriencik sent an email to the manager that included this set of questions about the struggles, seeming to place blame on the coaches rather than his own failed moves: “[W]as it a lack of urgency and preparation out of spring training, poor fundamental play both on offense and defense? Did we expect things to happen as opposed to making them happen? Did we demand enough from our players right out of the chute and hold them accountable? Did we set a tone for excellence and not accept mistakes and poor play?’’ Can you even fathom Theo Epstein or Jed Hoyer writing something like that to Dale Sveum or Rick Renteria or Joe Maddon?
  • The Cardinals are skipping Carlos Martinez’s next start due to a back issue, but I’d imagine that it’s mostly about getting rest for a 23-year-old who’s already well over his career high in innings pitched.

  • Eric Jokisch has had an up-and-down, injury-damaged year at AAA Iowa, so he hasn’t been on the radar to pick up starts at the big league level this year, despite very much being that guy (6/7/8 starter type) heading into Spring Training. He’s healthy again, and he just won the PCL’s Pitcher of the Week honor.
  • If you missed the news late last night, Javy Baez, Quintin Berry, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Trevor Cahill are coming up today. A couple more 40-man moves are coming, too.
  • The Cubs designated Mike Olt for assignment to make room for Austin Jackson.
  • The Giants acquired Alejandro De Aza to bolster their offense.
  • And your Scoreboard Watching from earlier this morning, if you missed it.

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