starlin castro shhThose poor Pirates. At 77-80 on the year, they’re in danger of finishing below .500 for the season, despite lofty – and totally justified – expectations coming into the year. It’s been extremely disappointing for them.

I say “poor Pirates” as a Cubs writer, though, because I’ll note that, outside of games they played against the Cubs, the Pirates are 74-66, which is a .529 winning percentage. That’s the same as the Giants, who currently hold the second Wild Card spot.

  • I find this a very fun thing to think about:

  • Because baseball is baseball, even in an impossible, fictional thought experiment, the 2015 team would still have a chance. This year’s edition is deeper, better defensively, probably slightly better offensively (don’t forget, last year had Kyle Schwarber), has a better overall rotation (though last year had an entirely other-level Jake Arrieta), and has a better bullpen. I say, if those two teams played each other in a seven-game series 100 times, the 2016 team would win about 65 of them. What say you? Anyone have a robust simulator?

  • Chris Coghlan update: after another big game, the lefty is now hitting .271/.403/.417 with the Cubs this year, which is a 122 wRC+, or basically exactly the guy he was for his two years with the Cubs before this one. It’s almost like that’s who he is, and the time in Oakland was a fluke …
  • Here’s a great read at ESPN on Travis Wood, the man behind the pitcher/part-time outfielder.
  • A Cardinals grand slam that everyone can root for.
  • If you’re like most people, you received an email from the Cubs in the last two days letting you know that you were not selected in the lottery to purchase NLDS tickets. I know you probably weren’t selected because there were apparently over 1 million registrations (Tribune), so your odds of selection were probably in the 5% range, depending on how many tickets were made available. If you did win the lottery, congrats, enjoy it, and go to those games! If you didn’t – like me – you can cross your fingers that you’ll be selected in the next lottery, if and when the Cubs make the NLCS.
  • The Mets were hoping Steven Matz could come back at some point this year for the postseason, even if in a limited role, but it’s not happening. That Nationals might get Stephen Strasburg back, but if they do, it probably won’t be until after the NLDS, if they get that far. With Wilson Ramos out, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy banged up, though, and with Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill at the front of the Dodgers’ rotation … I’m not sure it’s going to matter.

  • There are a bunch of Cubs nominated for the esurance MLB awards, which are fake, but only slightly less fake than all awards, so if you would like to vote, here’s where you do it.
  • “So, yeah, there was that, and then not a lot happened for a hundred years, but THEN … “:

  • A Cubs fan in need:

  • This is fantastic. Also, follow BIF on Twitter by clicking follow because thank you:

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