jim mora playoffsI just finished a re-watch of Season One of ‘Mr. Robot’ in advance of Season Two kicking off, but I timed it terribly. I got too into the re-watch, finished it too quickly, and now I have to wait a freakin’ month for the next season.

  • Poking around the web this morning, it’s hard not to feel like a liiiiiiittle too much weight is being put on the Cubs getting dominated by Max Scherzer last night (and let’s not mince words: that was domination). Yes, the Nationals are a projected playoff team, and, yes, so are the Cubs. But it was still a mid-June match-up between two teams that played at Wrigley Field last month, with one beating the other four straight times, including a solid thumping of Scherzer, himself. That’s not to say that the series last month proves any more than last night’s game does – it’s only to say that trying to extrapolate much in the way of playoff predictions (or nervousness about facing “good pitching”) is a fruitless endeavor. Some days, a guy like Scherzer is going to have his best working, and the odds of winning, even for a good team like the Cubs, will tilt downward. Some days, a guy like Scherzer is not going to have his best work, and the odds of winning will tilt back up. That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to lose the first game, or guaranteed to win the second. The Cubs have and will beat good pitching some days with a big offense (and some days they won’t – you just hope on those days they, too, have good pitching). So, then, for me, to the extent anything playoff-related pops into my head after watching a game like last night’s, it’s simply: just get to the playoffs, and then anything can happen.


  • (OK, so it also reminds me how frequently close playoff games are, how disproportionately impactful their outcome is, and how therefore valuable having several elite late-inning relievers can be. But that’s a discussion for another day.)
  • Jon Lester won NL Player of the Week honors for his two dominant starts, which continued a stretch of awesomeness recently.
  • Joe Maddon was pleased to see that Justin Grimm and Clayton Richard, two important relievers who’ve been the subject of much discussion lately, had relatively effective outings last night in a close game (Tribune). Richard pretty much did what he’s done all year, which is get groundballs (these ones turned into outs). Grimm’s outing was, perhaps, especially encouraging, because in the tightest spot – bases loaded, pinch hitter up – it was clear that Chris Heisey could not handle Grimm’s fastball, and Grimm thus just overpowered him.
  • Apropos of yesterday’s discussion in the Bullets about the Pirates’ season teetering on the brink, Dave Cameron writes at FanGraphs just how damaging the weekend sweep at the hands of the Cardinals was to the Pirates, especially when paired with injuries to Gerrit Cole and Francisco Cervelli. Not only did it push the Pirates’ odds of winning the division to well below 1% according to FanGraphs’ calculations, but it also took their Wild Card odds from about 25% all the way down to 14%.


  • With short season minor leagues about to kick off later this week, Arizona Phil has an early look at the expected rosters for the Arizona Cubs (Rookie Ball) and Eugene Emeralds (short season Low-A), as well as the players rehabbing injuries in Arizona. The most notable player still rehabbing is probably Oscar De La Cruz, who was slated as perhaps THE big breakout candidate in the Cubs’ farm system this offseason, but who hasn’t pitched in a game thus far. Arizona Phil says that the culprit’s been elbow soreness.
  • Kris Bryant and Albert Almora got to tour the White House yesterday, including a visit with President Obama … ‘s dogs.
  • I didn’t see this headline coming: Bill Murray Scores a Massage for Jake Arrieta.
  • Father’s Day is coming quickly, and it looks like Amazon is anticipating your last minute need for deals – many of their deals of the day are things appropriate for dad.

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