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Sometimes the BABIP Gods Favor the Cubs and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

I love coming home from an early-morning workout to find that The Wife has already put out our W flag. She knows. She’s a keeper.

(Obligatory, but hopefully helpful plug: If you don’t have the space to accommodate one of the big ones, you can do like we do with a garden one – this is the one we have.)

  • After starting the season 0-15, Kris Bryant is now hitting .182/.280/.273, which, well, I guess is still bad, but I don’t think the 32.0% strikeout rate and .091 ISO are going to last too long. That said, Bryant admits he still doesn’t feel quite comfortable yet (ESPN), and you can see it in his at bats – that visual confidence you see in some hitters, where you can tell that they simply aren’t going to offer at garbage, and aren’t going to miss crushing anything hittable in the zone.

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  • Bryant’s three hits last night were exemplary of the Cubs’ night: none were hit all that hard. BABIP is funny that way: of the Cubs’ 17 hits last night, just two – TWO! – were hit over 100mph (Addison Russell’s double and Willson Contreras’s double). Not every exit velocity was tracked, but still, there were a ton of dinks and dunks. Bryant’s fisted single into center was the weakest-struck hit of the night (again, on the ones that registered an exit velocity) at a spritely 67.9mph. By the laws of BABIP, Cubs fans are not permitted to complain about bad BABIP luck for one day.
  • Of his season debut, Kyle Hendricks said his pitches weren’t moving like he wanted to because his mechanics were a bit out of whack until the middle innings when he started to find the feel (Tribune). Like I mentioned last night in the EBS, Hendricks gave up four earned runs in the game, something he did just three times last year. That’s more earned runs than he gave up in all of July last year.
  • I was watching the Cubs game on my computer last night while we also had ‘Saturday Night Live’ on in the background – well, a replay of an old SNL, that is, before the new episode (unless it’s a Cubs game, I’m not saying up past 11pm, nothankyousir). It was the one about 12 years ago when Derek Jeter hosted. It was not all that great, and for Jeter’s relative charisma as a baseball player, he … well, he did the best he could. But it got me thinking about the no-face-of-baseball thing (and Kris Bryant as maybe THE guy), and is there any baseball player these days who would be a big enough star to even merit consideration as a host of SNL? If the answer is no, that seems like a serious problem for the sport. I can’t immediately think of someone with the national “brand” to pull it off, even if I can think of a ton of players I’d personally love to see do it.
  • … and which Cub(s) would you want to see do it? Anthony Rizzo seems like an obvious choice, and I think Pedro Strop would probably be hilarious. What do you think?

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  • A real thing that happened yesterday:

  • The story is even worse than that (but not so much “fun”) – the Nationals starter, Jeremy Guthrie, had just returned to the majors at age 38 to make this start. As in, the start was literally on his birthday. After all the work to get back … just ouch. Baseball is beautiful and often cruel.

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  • I am an enormous dork:

  • Watch out, Javy Baez, because Andrelton Simmons wants people to notice his tagging ability, too:

  • A reminder that the Cubs are gonna look all kinds of fancy tomorrow:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.