I got one more hour of sleep last night than the night before thanks to the game going a little more quickly (I was just shy of five hours instead of four), but the cumulative effect has me feeling much worse today than yesterday. I know there are people out there who (well, at least they say they) get by day in, day out on four or five hours sleep, but I’m just not one of them. Give me seven hours or give me death. The off-day today is nice, but – in terms of sleep – I’m not looking forward to the series in Arizona.
I’m not complaining, mind you. But you’ll have to forgive me if at any time I’m draggy or grumpy or confused or sleepy or dopey or Doc.
- Checking in with the Angels after the back-to-back ugly losses to the Cubs – among manager Mike Scioscia’s comments to Angels.com: “It’s two losses – that’s it. We didn’t give ourselves much of a chance on the offensive side, we didn’t get as much done on the mound as we needed. But we’re going to get better as a group. We are. We really believe in that. We think that our team is going to be able to do a lot of different things that we weren’t able to do in these two games.” He’s right that it’s just two games, of course, but lordy it’s nice not to have to be reading about the Cubs soul-searching and/or talking down panicky folks from the ledge after two freaking games.
- Random thing: know how many walks there were in last night’s game? None. Neither team walked even once. I bet that’s rare. The Cubs struck out nine times, which typically signifies doom – you don’t win too many games with a 9:0 K:BB ratio. But this Cubs lineup will probably pull off that kind of feat frequently this year.
- It was a rough series for Mike Trout, who went 0-8 with three strikeouts, the last of which was this one by Pedro Strop:
Pedro Strop filthy slider to strike out Mike Trout. pic.twitter.com/JiYZwa9qGa
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) April 6, 2016
- I noticed this in Spring Training, too, but is it just me, or is Strop looking especially stacked this year? Those arms and those shoulders. He looks like a linebacker.
- I meant to mention it in the EBS last night, but special love to Jason Heyward for tagging from first base on a Kris Bryant fly out to the wall in left field. That’s the kind of thing Heyward does to help a team win.
- Joe Maddon says he’s going to keep Jorge Soler in the outfield mix as the Cubs head back to NL parks (CSN), though he needs to be a little more comfortable out there in left field. I’ve admitted my concerns with the Cubs realistically being able to play Soler regularly enough to keep the bat developing and not sacrifice a ton on defense, so we’ll see how things actually play out in reality. I believe in that bat, but if he doesn’t get regular plate appearances so that he can improve against offspeed stuff, it’s going to be tough. And if he can’t be passable out there in left field, it’s going to be tough to get him those regular appearances. Jason Hammel starts the second game of the Diamondbacks series, which means Kyle Schwarber will catch. We’ll see if Soler is out in there in left. For now, I assume he will be. If he’s not … that’s a really bad signal, even if it might be sold as “giving Matt Szczur another start because he’s playing so well.”
- Familiar features at Wrigley Field are getting back into place in advance of the home opener on Monday.
- I would hug him, too, kid:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 6, 2016
- Kerry Wood’s home run derby charity event is coming back to Wrigley Field Wednesday, May 25.
- Speaking of homers, Giancarlo Stanton crushed one last night, but Corey Dickerson actually hit one much further. And then he hit Chris Archer, which was funny and probably a little scary.
- For you Blackhawks fans, looks like there’s going to be a lightning deal on a Corey Crawford/Duncan Keith signed thing tomorrow morning if you want to set your alarm.
- If you missed anything yesterday:
- Jake Arrieta dominated the Angels to open the season, and we basked in the warm glow.
- That win was the Cubs’ largest shutout win ever on Opening Day, plus many other Bullets.
- The full BN Top 40 Cubs prospect list and wrap-up from Luke.
- Both Theo Epstein and Tom Ricketts say a deal for Epstein could come soon.
- The latest bits from around the league, including Jose Fernandez (from Cuba) is now a free agent.
- The final ZiPS preseason projection had the Cubs well over 90% to make the playoffs.
- And, of course, the Cubs beat the Angels 6-1. Szczur homered. Rizzo homered. Fowler homered.