The Cubs and Brewers get back after it today in the early afternoon following last night’s thrilling (if you’re the Cubs) or deeply disappointing (if you’re the Brewers) game. It’s remarkable given the sentiments just 24 hours ago, but the Cubs can suddenly shift from a horror nightmare streak to “oh, hey, they’ve won every series this year except one” with a win today.
- Brett Anderson obviously struggled last night, but he still had a sense of humor about it after the game (easier after a win, I reckon), telling CSN: “I tweaked a groin last start and got hit in the hamstring this start, so it wouldn’t be a Brett Anderson start without some sort of athletic play. I’d like to have a start where I don’t have to deal with something, but it comes with the territory of being super-athletic.” I know he’s just joking around, but with Anderson and health, it’s always something to watch. For example, my mind starts turning upon hearing about a “tweaked groin” and then noting that he struggled this time out.
- A fun early-season note from Luis on Anderson’s numbers so far, and the cosmic balance of baseball:
Random early season baseball numbers will never not intrigue me.
Top line: Brett Anderson tonight.
Bottom line: Anderson's 2017 in 14.1 IP. pic.twitter.com/HGOCuGhr8g
— Luis M. (@lcm1986) April 19, 2017
- Anderson also remarked on Twitter about Brewers KBO-import Eric Thames:
Apparently I need to go to Korea and work on my hitting cause Eric Thames is the best hitter in the world right now
— Brett Anderson (@BAnderson3737) April 19, 2017
- Sure enough, through his first 13 games (53 PAs) back in MLB, the 30-year-old is hitting .426/.491/1.000. In case you were wondering: former Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair hit .384/.476/.767 through his first 103 PAs in 2012, before going .217/.282/.343 the rest of the way. Strictly speaking, that doesn’t have anything to do with Thames, though it is a close-to-home reminder that we have seen out-of-nowhere hulking sluggers pop up and dominate for a while (LaHair for twice as long as Thames has so far), only to fall far as the league saw them more. One thing to say about Thames, though: even in the offense-inflated environment of the KBO, his numbers there for the past three years were absolutely bonkers: .348/.449/.715 with 124 homers in 390 games.
- Joe Maddon and Miguel Montero said it here, but I’ll toss my hat into the ring, too: Hector Rondon’s slider has looked much better lately, with more downward movement and better location. He was really pumped up last night about carrying the Cubs through the 8th inning, and I wonder if that pretty much cemented him going forward (well, until/unless there’s another long blip) as the primary setup man. Obviously the group in the bullpen is very talented, but Rondon is the guy you’d want to earn that consistent top-setup-man role behind closer Wade Davis.
- On the whole, the bullpen retired 15 of the final 16 hitters they faced last night. Even Brian Duensing, who gave up the bullpen’s sole run allowed (on a homer), wound up striking out three batters in 1.1 innings, allowing the homer and one other hit, but no walks.
- Remember how Kris Bryant started the season with the longest hitless streak ever for a reigning MVP? Just like that, he’s up to .228/.333/.421 (109 wRC+).
- This figures to be pretty awesome:
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) April 19, 2017
- Lean back, Miggy. This picture evokes some really nice memories:
Love that pose, @miggymont26.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 19, 2017
- Speaking of nice memories, Anthony Rizzo made another catch on the tarp last night.
- MLB players have announced a new app called Infield Chatter that allows fans a little more of a close, personal social experience with the players.
- You’ve seen the full Bryzzo Souvenir Company spot, but this is a fantastic little addition (at the end of this video):
— MLB (@MLB) April 18, 2017
- I will never not enjoy this:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 19, 2017
- There’s a cast iron wok on sale at Amazon today for twenty bucks, and one of the stated benefits – I have definitely never heard this before, but I don’t get around – is that it can increase the iron in your food by up to 20%. So … some of the iron comes off in your food? I mean, I know you need iron. So that’s good. It’s just weird to hear that some of your cooking ware is meant to be eaten by you in tiny doses.
- Elsewhere in consumer world, I like to regularly peruse the Lids Cubs exclusives because, by definition, it’s stuff you’re not going to see elsewhere. And a reminder that when you shop at Lids via the links at BN, you’re supporting the site in the process. Win-win.
- The NFL Draft is just around the corner, so the football fans among you should check out our sister site, The Ten-Yard Line, with plenty of good draft bits. Also follow us on Twitter, and smack that like button on Facebook, please and thank you: