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Arrieta’s Streak, Double Robberies, Strasburg Injury, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

I cannot tell you – without sounding insane, that is – how shocked and horrified I was to learn yesterday that Coke Zero is going away after 12 blissful years of being my daily soda. I remember when Coke Zero first came out, and I adopted it immediately. I have one a day, every day, without exception. So, while soda choice is not a critical life matter in the pantheon of critical life matters, this is still extremely jarring for me.


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The replacement soda – Coke Zero Sugar – is apparently designed to taste more like original Coke, but I didn’t ask you to do that, Coca-Cola! I am concerned.

  • With last night’s win, not only did the Cubs move into first place and six games over .500, but they also set themselves up with a chance TO WIN THE CROSSTOWN CUP! I am, of course, being a little tongue-in-cheek there, because it’s not actually a huge deal, but it is a little fun to know that there’s a trophy on the line tonight. At an organizational level, although I’m sure the White Sox wouldn’t mind as many losses as possible this season as they rebuild, I do think they probably also wouldn’t mind beating the Cubs.
  • Another solid outing for Jake Arrieta last night, and he’s now posted a 3.40 ERA since he was knocked around in Colorado in early May. Hard contact is way down, soft contact is up, groundball rate is up … everything you’d want to see from the guy Jake Arrieta can be right now we’re seeing. And if he’s this guy – a relatively consistent bet to give you six quality innings in each start, with the chance for a dominant outing every now and again – you’re perfectly happy with him as your three.

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(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
  • Anthony Rizzo cleared the bases last night with a shot that got stuck in the ivy … er, well, so to speak:

  • A fun bit last night, when left fielder Jon Jay robbed lefty fielder Melky Cabrera of a hit in the gap (genuinely didn’t think he could get there), and then Cabrera immediately returned the favor (genuinely didn’t think he could get there either):

  • Stephen Strasburg left his last start with an injury, which the Nationals later described as a nerve issue that was fine after some treatment and no big deal. But now this:

  • Maybe that’s al true, and Strasburg is just getting some extra rest. But this time of year – JUST before the Trade Deadline – you have to wonder if a first place team that is suddenly popping up in a number of pitching rumors is concerned about letting trade partners know that they might have a serious pitching injury on their hands. That is to say, the Nationals can say adamantly all they want that Strasburg is fine and will miss just one start, but nobody is going to know the truth for sure until after the deadline. In any case, the Nationals are looking for a starter anyway so that they don’t have to keep giving starts to Edwin Jackson.
  • Although the rotation lined up such that Jose Quintana would not pitch against the White Sox in this series, he did get a nice tribute in his former home park last night:

  • And about that acquisition:

  • Ditto on the hiring and retention of Chris Bosio as pitching coach, by the way.
  • There has been a sudden spike in Cubs fan babies being born, and … *counts backwards 9 months from July* … ah. I get it.

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  • I wish I spoke more Spanish:

  • No, no. This time – THIS TIME – Kato is seriously done:

  • Adrian Beltre is an international treasure:

  • You don’t think about needing titanium bonded scissors until you see a two-pack at Amazon on a huge sale (just $6.30). You know who messes up and/or loses all your scissors? Kids.
  • Also, I was looking at the Coleman outdoor sale items, and getting wistful about doing a camping trip with those same kids. No scissors allowed.

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Brett Taylor

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