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Arrieta is Money, Cubs Alone in First, No More Hand Questions, Broken Chapman, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

Last week, I had to take The Little Boy to the doctor for a certain (non-serious) scoping procedure, but we were lucky, because the doctor’s availability happened to be in our city (instead of the main, downtown Columbus location). Except when we got there, the doctor they actually had at the outpatient center could not perform that kind of scope. Apparently, that only happens about once a month that they have limited coverage like that, and that was the day they scheduled us for reasons I still don’t understand.


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… so, fast forward to today, and The Little Boy and I are now at the much-less-conveniently-located downtown facility for the procedure. He is aggressively eating Cheerios next to me, dropping them on the floor, and then looking up at me to ask if he can still eat that one.

  • Another start, another good outing for Jake Arrieta, whose command wasn’t quite as precise as it’s been in recent starts, but whose movement on his sinker was just fantastic. Interestingly, Arrieta threw exclusively sinkers yesterday for his hard stuff (no four-seam fastballs), and he was rewarded with seven groundouts, including a key double play by Paul Goldschmidt. That’s what Arrieta was looking to do (Cubs.com): “I want to come out and establish good sink early in the ballgame and try to force early contact and try to get the third or fourth inning at 40 pitches. If I’m able to get through the first [inning], the first time through the order with that established, my job becomes easier. I know as the game progresses, if I have the feel of that pitch, at least one breaking ball, I’ll be in good shape.”
  • Arrieta also struck out six, and registered his sixth straight quality start since the All-Star break. His 3.73 ERA is now 24th best in all of baseball – an incredible feat when you remember back to where he was after the first two months of the season. Guess who’s gonna get PAID this offseason?

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
  • After returning from a successful 3-3 road trip out west (seriously, that’s a perfectly fine outcome), Cubs players will get extra rest this week, and are permitted to come to the park later than usual (Cubs.com).
  • I just can’t help myself:

  • Setting aside everything else they do, the Cubs are feeling good about the defensive value they’re getting behind the plate from the new catching tandem of Alex Avila and Victor Caratini (Tribune). Did you see that being the Cubs’ two catchers back in April? I suppose if you told me then that these would be the guys, I’d think something went horribly wrong with both Willson Contreras and Miguel Montero … and I guess that would be right.
  • Kris Bryant was all-universe in that Diamondbacks series, and showed off a resurgence of his power yesterday. Turns out, all he needs to do is hit the ball really hard and he’s fine:

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  • He even told reporters “no more hand questions” after yesterday’s game, so, OK, I’ll move on, too (Cubs.com).
  • The bad strike call that ended the Cubs’ teaser rally on Saturday night? The home plate umpire apparently admitted later to Joe Maddon that he made a mistake (Tribune).
  • Luis has the right idea:

  • Kyle Schwarber has struck out in seven consecutive plate appearances, and is apparently at risk for tying the MLB record if he strikes out two more times in a row (Tribune).
  • This GIF is amazing:

  • But this video is even better:


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Brett Taylor

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