I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a Pirates fan staring at that game last night as it unfolded. Well, I guess I can imagine, because it had a certain Cub-ian flavor, but there is a difference: the Pirates are trying to hold onto a winning record for the first time in 20 years. Try to put yourself in a Pirates fan’s shoes …
- Brett Jackson is expected to be OK after his scary collision with the fence in Pittsburgh last night. His head jerked and his knee slammed into the wall as he caught a deep drive from Andrew McCutchen. His head was the big worry, but, even setting that aside, it seemed impossible that he would avoid serious damage to his knee. But, apparently he did. “Did a little inventory check while I was down, but got my knee pretty good,” Jackson said, per the Tribune. “It’s good though. Looks like it’s just going to be a pretty bad bruise. The X-rays were negative. Just got it right on my kneecap. I guess I was pretty lucky. The doctor was saying if my foot was down when I hit [the wall] it would be a [posterior cruciate ligament]. But because my foot was in the air, it was able to bend …. I got my head pretty good. I was seeing stars – just got a little dizzy seeing stars. My head hit the chain link, and that gives. Whatever I hit my knee on didn’t give very much. I’m walking fine, but apparently it’s going to be a little stiff in the morning” Whew.
- Jackson also dropped a money quote: “That’s the type of player I am,” Jackson said. “I’ve always been that way. I’ll go through a wall for the team and that was a big moment for Travis [Wood] and for us. We’d lost six in a row, and seven runs didn’t seem like it was enough at the time. I don’t really have a second gear. I’m going to go for those balls. I’m sure people will tell me to take care of my body, but making that play was a little more important at the time.” I dig, but, like, yeah … take care of your body.
- Jeff Samardzija on being shut down early, from the Trib: “It’s unfortunate. I’d really like to finish the season pitching the whole time, and that way I could look back and really see how i went from beginning to end. But I’ve given everything I had in every start, and you have to respect what they’re planning on doing, what their plans are for the organization and for the team. I talked to Dale about it and I put a lot of faith in him and [pitching coach Chris Bosio,] too, that this is the right move for the right reasons.” That’s pretty much all that you would expect him to say, but did you, like I did, pause on that last bit? Does Jeff wonder if there might be unseemly reasons for shutting him down early? If so, what might they be? Reducing his value in arbitration slightly? Creating more losses for the Cubs? Those things are possible, but I have no doubt that this is 100% being done out of an abundance of caution to protect Samardzija’s arm for next year and beyond.
- Dale Sveum doesn’t agree with his bench coach’s apparent position that the Nationals were being uncool the other night by swinging 3-0 and stealing bases when they were up five in the fifth. “I didn’t have any problem with it,” Sveum said of the Nats’ effort to keep scoring. “It was the fifth inning. It was as if they were up 5-0 in the fifth inning. I don’t expect my team to stop playing in the fifth inning. There is a time when you stop. I mean a five-run lead, to me, I didn’t have any problem with anything they did.” Good. Now we just have to figure out why Bryce Harper was thrown at …
- The Onion with a rare Cubs-related miss. Cubs fans are fat is pretty much the thrust of the joke.
- CSN has a video feature on Jorge Soler, most of which is already known to you, but it’s still kind of fun to watch.
- In case you missed Brett Jackson’s crazy catch from last night: