The Buffer of Early Wins and the Tough Stretch Coming for the Cubs and Other Bullets

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The Buffer of Early Wins and the Tough Stretch Coming for the Cubs and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

cold joe maddonI’ll confess, in my daily life, when not around the kids, I’m a swearer. I curse. It’s a part of my chosen vernacular, if not my soul.

Here and on BN’s various social channels, however, I try to keep it to a bare minimum. While I personally may not have a problem with it, (1) a lot of folks do, and it’s easy enough to keep it clean, and (2) too often curse words become a lazy crutch, and lame substitute for thoughtful writing.

That all said, I dropped a couple f-bombs and f-bomb-like things on Twitter last night. It just felt appropriate, as the culmination of not only another frustrating game last night, but also a stretch where I’ve been holding in those explosive, instantaneous reactions that just feel good to get out. Sometimes you’ve got to.

And, in the world of baseball fandom, you hope that when you wake the next day, you’re feeling more rational, placid, and better able to contextualize that one game within the scope of a very long season.

  • To that end, plenty of rational, useful thoughts from Joe Maddon after last night’s loss ( “It’s very difficult to sustain the level we’re at. When you do get off to a good start, you can absorb a bad moment. When I look in the newspapers and see us at 70 percent, I can’t be too upset.” That’s pretty much the long and the short of it. We all knew that the Cubs couldn’t keep winning at an .800 clip, but the fact that they did do that for so long to start the season created a really nice buffer to help cover the tough stretches that would inevitably come. It’s been a bad 11 days for the Cubs, without question, but the Cubs’ lead in the NL Central is still a healthy 6.0 games. They still have the best record in baseball by 3.0 games.
  • If the Cubs are going to end this tough stretch, by the way, they’re going to have to do it against some good teams, as they’re about to go Cardinals, Phillies, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Braves, Nationals, Pirates, Cardinals. The Dodgers technically have a losing record right now, but they’re a good team. Then again, I think you could go to the flip side with that and say the Phillies technically have a winning record right now, but they’re not a good team.
  • Maddon would not commit to Jason Heyward being available for part of the Cardinals series (ESPN).
  • A credit where credit’s due situation: the Giants’ defense last night was freaking killer. In a one-run game, it was easily the difference, and, on a night when the Cubs were fantastic defensively, too, the Giants shined even brighter. Good on them.
  • Kris Bryant was also really good on defense last night at third base, which is all the more impressive when you remember how much he’s been bouncing back and forth between third and the outfield (and how young and relatively inexperienced he is in pro ball, and how well he’s been adjusting his offensive game). And get this: if you combine Bryant’s production at third base and in the outfield, his overall defensive value has him near the top 10 in all of baseball.
  • A typically thoughtful and candid interview with Jeff Samardzija about, among other things, Jake Arrieta’s road to free agency and getting paid.
  • If you missed anything this weekend, catch yourself up here.
  • Summer looms, which means various outdoor games and activities are on sale at Amazon.
  • A handful of tweets:

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Author: Brett Taylor

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