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Mike Montgomery is a Groundball Wizard, Gary Pressy is Cal Ripken, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

There are a number of “lowest forms” out there, but among the lowest forms of human scum are those who use natural disasters as opportunities to scam for money. They’re out there. Be wary and mindful if you being generous enough to give. Try to give directly to the organization you are supporting (for example, I’m supporting the Houston Humane Society this morning – not because I care about animals more than people, but because I worry that they get a whole lot less support in these situations and there is terrible need).


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  • Mike Montgomery was great as a starter once again last night, and although his overall numbers as a starter this year look mixed (4.05 ERA, 3.97 FIP), they are still far better than league average, and they are also skewed by that one seven-run outing against the Brewers before the break. Consider this: Montgomery has made 10 starts for the Cubs this year, and *four* of them have been at least six innings and one earned run or fewer. When he commands his wide arsenal in the zone, he is dominant.
  • Among pitchers with at least 50 innings as a starter this year, Montgomery’s 61.3% groundball rate is 4th best in baseball. It’s no secret where Montgomery’s bread will be buttered when he’s at his best, and in the Juiced Ball Era, groundball pitchers might be more valuable than ever.
  • Whether Montgomery makes another start this year will depend on a variety of factors, but the nearest one is whether Jon Lester, who threw a simulated game yesterday, is ready to return for his next start.

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  • As for next year, I do think it’s very fair to presume Montgomery has an inside track on a rotation job, though GM Jed Hoyer is quick to caution that you don’t know how things will play out, and Montgomery has a lot of value in the role he’s handling now (CSN): “It’s been a positive year for him, and certainly we’ll consider all those factors (for) the rotation next year. But his versatility is really valuable and we talk about it all the time: It’s not going to be five starters. We have to think through it that way. And the best teams have six, seven, eight guys that can do it. And he’s definitely going to be one of those guys.”
  • That’s all true, of course, and it does Hoyer no good to say, “Yeah, he’s totes gonna be in the rotation, fam!” right now. But if you had to place a bet as of today … he’s totes gonna be in the rotation, fam.
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Oh, and Montgomery had another hit in the game, and I’m just sayin’: Dan Vogelbach is going to need to figure out how to throw a killer curveball at this point.

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  • The Cubs’ organist, Gary Pressy, is a treasure, and has now played at 2,500 STRAIGHT Cubs games:

  • Javy Baez and Ian Happ shared a light moment after a pop-up:

  • Speaking of Baez, I’m not sure I’ve seen too many of these gray shirseys around, as I’m thinking about my times at the park:

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  • Kevin Pillar is utterly ridiculous in center field:


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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.