Ah, the week the kiddos return to school, and I can already feel a sinus infection trying to creep its way into my face. Clockwork.
- Even as we can acknowledge that the Cubs are still in first place, and still have the best record in the National League, we can also rightly say that it feels crummy right now. The Cubs have been more or less .500 since the All-Star break, a time when they are usually much, much better. Sure, injuries have played a role in that, but you do wonder what difference the missing players would have made when you consider the way the Cubs have lost the games they’ve lost.
- Since the break, the Cubs have lost 12 times, and 9(!) of those were by four or more runs. And almost all of those were what you would term “non-competitive” losses. Four runs is not out of hand for these Cubs, but when you look over the whole of a game, you can kinda tell when a game was just not competitive (because, again, we’re talking about “feel” from a fan perspective). And that’s a big part of why it feels so bad lately. There are a lot of guys going through very deep struggles, and it’s routinely leading to the kinds of losses that you’ve gotta say, “Ope, well, throw that one away and move on!” It’s not what a good team looks like.
- HOWEVA, it’s still such a small stretch of the season that we’re talking about. And the reality is, this is a very talented team, and it’s very likely to get back some great players soon, who will help in one way or another. I remain optimistic that this is the team that will win the NL Central, but I also do acknowledge that they sure don’t look like it right now.
- As for yesterday’s specific issues, on the pitching side of things, there’s no real answer as to what’s up with Jose Quintana’s brutal command this year (670): “I feel strong. I feel good physically. This is a really important time of the year. This is a matter of correcting the errors I am making and trying to help the team as much as I can.” For whatever reason, Quintana simply isn’t hitting his spots, and it’s yielding a huge spike in his walk rate, a huge drop in his strikeout rate, and a huge uptick in meatball pitches that are susceptible to getting crushed. I’m frustrated. I’d imagine he’s frustrated, too.
- The state of the rotation in a joke:
If the postseason began today, here’s my ideal starting rotation:
1. Cole Hamels
2. Hole Camels
3. The Duke of Clamels
4. Roccole Ham pic.twitter.com/SRY1XQ5Y0d
— Alex Patt (@chifanpatt1) August 15, 2018
- Another hitters meeting for the Cubs, but it certainly didn’t do much yesterday:
Cubs had a little hitter's meeting before the game, talked about making adjustments. Didn't help today. Will discuss on ESPN 1000 now
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 14, 2018
- A story from the minors, hinting at all the work these guys go through just to move a single level:
Roberto Caro was called into the manager's office on June 30 with the @SBCubs.
At first, he was threatened with a fine… Then, he received some great news.
— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) August 14, 2018
- Slide belts, cast iron cookware, and fancy sunglasses are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today.