Oooh! The first ‘Rogue One’ trailer is out. I am very excited to see what they’re able to do with these new, official “a Star Wars story” movies. The universe has so much potential if the flicks are well-executed. My reaction to this trailer? I can’t really tell if it’s just a standard action movie with a boring story that happens to live in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, or if it’ll be something uniquely good.
- The Cubs get back in action tonight against the Diamondbacks, with former Cardinals starter John Lackey making his Cubs debut. The guy who replaced Lackey in the Cardinals’ rotation made his debut yesterday, facing the Pirates … and Mike Leake needed 42 pitches just to get out of his very first inning in Cardinals red. Ultimately, Leake lasted just 4.1 innings, giving up 4 ER on 7 H and 3 BB (1 K), and the Cardinals lost again to the Pirates. That’d be a series sweep to open the year, the first time the Cardinals have been 0-3 since 2007, which also happened to be the last Cardinals team to finish under .500. The Cardinals hit extremely poorly in the series, and their starting pitchers struggled to go deep. You can’t take away too much from one series, and the season is long. But the Cardinals that played in Pittsburgh flat-out looked bad (hitters struck out 31.9% of the time, while pitchers gave up walks 11.8% of the time), and locking in those three losses hurts them.
- Of course, the flip-side of all of that is that the Pirates have now locked in three wins against a presumed-to-be tough opponent, so that’s bully for them. (Also bully for them? What looks to be another impressively-reclaimed starter in Juan Nicasio, who was dominant all Spring and again last night, with a fastball in the upper-90s). We can’t know just yet which of these teams we’ll be wanting to see lose games come August and September, so while it’s easy to say you’d rather see their series always end up 2-1, it’s possible that a few months from now, we’ll be happy about this sweep. Or bummed. Time will tell.
- I’m not going to change my opinions of the teams based on one series, but I will say that the nagging injuries keep adding up for the Cardinals, and at some point, that does impact your view of a team’s chances for success. I already had some serious questions about the Cardinals heading into this season (as Michael articulated well before the season), and, while I think they can be a playoff contender, the Pirates series did at least put a further spotlight on those questions. Will Adam Wainwright be Adam Wainwright again? Can Leake effectively replace Lackey? Will Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia, and Carlos Martinez be healthy and effective all year? Will the young bats step forward enough to make up for losing Jason Heyward and the decline of guys like Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, and Jhonny Peralta (when he returns)? And so on and so on.
- Also, I couldn’t help myself:
Rough start to the Cardinals' season. pic.twitter.com/1WqEhGwotc
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) April 7, 2016
- And speaking of Lackey, here’s a good profile on the “ultra competitive” righty, and why teammates like him, but opponents maybe not-so-much.
- Javier Baez posted on Instagram that he’ll be back soon after taking a pitch in Mesa off of the ear flap of his helmet (he also posted a video of the pitch, though it’s hard to see exactly where he was hit).
- Starlin Castro has had a record-setting debut with the Yankees, including his huge night last night. Sincerely: good for him.
- The marquee has returned to Wrigley Field:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 6, 2016
Home of the Chicago Cubs"
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 7, 2016
- There’s a sale on BN apparel right now, by the way. You can get 15% off everything in the store if you use the code APRIL16 when you check out. Give our stuff a look, eh?
- Over at BIF, the Dodgers’ first homer of the year naturally came from … new pitcher Kenta Maeda, who crushed an 0-2 Andrew Cashner pitch.
- If you missed anything yesterday, catch yourself up here:
- Fun with Dexter Fowler’s hot start.
- Can you imagine the panic some would be expressing if the Cubs’ season had started like the Angels or Cardinals? It would have been silly, but it’s just nice not to have to deal with it.
- I talked about Matt Szczur’s tricky roster spot, and the impending return of Javier Baez.
- The Cubs’ full initial minor league rosters are out – who’s going where?
- The latest from around the league, including Jose Bautista’s controversial slide and John Gibbons’ controversial comments.
- Jon Lester looked good on Tuesday, and he’s feeling really good, too.
- The latest installment of Michael’s dive into baseball movies probably includes some of your favorites from when you were a kid.
- Also this: We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the first Series Review video, so I feel a little more confident now saying “Hey, you, watch this if you haven’t!”, though we are still definitely open to suggestions/corrections/etc. We’d like to keep improving this over the course of the season, so thanks for the thoughts (and for watching and enjoying!):