Thoughts on the ‘Better Call Saul’ finale? Although I was very impressed by the show’s ability to stand in its own shoes, rather than merely be a ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel, I found this entire second season just a little too dry. A little too boring. Even the Mike parts felt like dry versions of exciting things. The show is wonderfully written, beautifully directed, well acted, and all that stuff. I just didn’t find this season all that exciting or interesting. Am I just being greedy?
- You can read a little more on Kyle Schwarber’s successful knee surgery here at Cubs.com and here at CSN, including quotes from Cubs GM Jed Hoyer. It sounds like everything went smoothly, as there were no surprises for the doctors when they got into his knee to reconstruct the ACL and repair the LCL, which is all you can hope for in that situation. Hoyer said there have been no discussions yet about Schwarber’s positional future, which makes sense, because the guy just had surgery. Interestingly, the surgery was performed by the Dallas Cowboys’ orthopedic specialist (clearly the Cubs wanted to find the best of the best). Schwarber will come back to Chicago tomorrow to begin the long process of rehabilitation, with an eye toward being ready to go for Spring Training 2017. As we sit here today, a full recovery for Schwarber is expected.
- Although it’s always a favorite fan activity to grouse about the strike zone, and claim in the heat of the moment that it’s unfairly skewing to one team or the other, last night’s game marked the first time this season that was pretty actively frustrated by what my eyes told me was an erratic zone that was generating more positive calls for the Cardinals than the Cubs. When that happens, the first thing I do the next morning is head over the Brooks Baseball to check out the strike zone maps – and, sure enough, I count eight pitches that were outside the “typically called strike zone” (which is already larger than the actual rule book zone) that were called as strikes for Cardinals pitchers. The Cubs got zero of those calls. In fairness, I count nine pitches in the typical zone from Cardinals pitchers that were called balls, and seven for the Cubs. In other words, the zone definitely skewed toward the Cardinals (was Yadier Molina framing better than Miguel Montero?), but the Cardinals have a reason to beef, too. It was just a poorly called strike zone last night all around. It happens.
- (I must point out, however, that the one pitch you see there almost in the middle of the strike zone that was called a ball took place during Randal Grichuk’s second inning at bat, in which he would have struck out, but for that terribly missed call; he later singled and scored on Yadier Molina’s triple. I was salty about that one.)
- So much for Manny Parra being at AAA as lefty bullpen depth for the Cubs – he’s undergone Tommy John surgery and is out for the year. Parra signed a minor league deal with the Cubs late in Spring Training.
- A truly fantastic read on Javier Baez’s path to where he is today, from Rian Watt over at Vice Sports. I haven’t seen any updates, by the way, on Baez’s wrist after he was kinda-maybe hit by a pitch there last night (review indicated it hit the knob of his bat first, but he was clearly struck, too). He stayed in the game to finish the at bat, so hopefully there’s no update because there’s nothing to update. Like you, I just get nervous when you see a pitch go anywhere near the wrist.
- Sad news, as former Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas has passed away at age 76. He’ll be remembered best for his near-perfect game in 1972, which became a no-hitter when he couldn’t get strike three called on what would have been the final batter. He’ll also be remembered as a frequent Cubs event attendee, and has always felt connected to the Cubs.
- Earlier, if you missed it, Luke’s Minor League Daily included two more homers from Bijan Rademacher and the first of the season for Gleyber Torres. Also, we looked at Jason Heyward’s game-saving rocket throw last night.
- Ben Zobrist received his World Series ring yesterday, which probably made some teammates jealous – in a good way.
- Miguel Montero’s tag on that Jason Heyward throw last night was great, but it’s nothing compared to this ridiculous Nolan Arenado tag.
- Also at BIF: Juan Lagares made a really incredible running, leaping catch on a 112mph shot.
- Not sure if the deal is going to be all claimed by the time you’re reading this, but there are crazy cheap candy bars at Amazon right now on a lightning deal. Under $4 for 18 full-size bars? I don’t even need them, but why not? UPDATE: There are more of them today! Throughout the day! Yes cheap candy barsssss!!!
- This was a fun way to cap off the win last night:
— Randall J. Sanders (@RandallJSanders) April 20, 2016
- And if you missed anything yesterday, catch up:
- Dexter Fowler has been baseball’s MVP in the early going (though I think Bryce Harper may have just passed him).
- Ian Happ knocked his first two homers of the season, one each way.
- Last night’s game won’t change it: the Cubs have the best pitching in baseball so far this season.
- John Lackey’s dominant start was even more dominant than your eyes may have told you.
- The Cubs’ ever-improving eye at the plate.
- More Jason Heyward defensive gems.
- The Cubs’ exit velocity has been killer.
- The latest episode of Limited Range for your listening pleasure.