The Cubs' Division Lead Swells Again as Julio Urias Looms and Other Bullets

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The Cubs’ Division Lead Swells Again as Julio Urias Looms and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

wrigley crowd win flagWe’re a couple days out now from The Little Boy’s little medical procedures and all is well, and he’s back to school today.

  • The Cubs will come into today’s series finale against the Dodgers with a chance to win the four-game series despite an extremely unusual first three games. What do I mean? The Cubs have won two and lost one, despite a negative run differential in the series (six runs for the Dodgers, four for the Cubs). For a team that has been pushing the historical limits of run differential, that’s pretty remarkable. In that way, I suppose it was about time the Cubs won some games without the benefit of absolutely blowing the other team away.
  • Also, thanks to yesterday’s win and losses by each of the Pirates and Cardinals, the Cubs’ lead in the NL Central is now 7.5 games over the former and 9.5 games over the latter. The biggest lead in any other division is the Giants’ 4.5-game cushion over those Dodgers. The Cubs’ lead had shrunk to 4.5 games during their mini-swoon a couple weeks ago, but it has swelled again.
  • It was a possibility as soon as Alex Wood went on the DL and was replaced on the roster by 19-year-old stud prospect Julio Urias, but now it’s official: the Dodgers will buy Kenta Maeda an extra day of rest (took a liner off the hand) by starting Urias tomorrow against the Cubs instead of Maeda. That’ll be fun for Cubs fans to watch, even if it’s possible that Urias puts it together and dominates.
  • Jed Hoyer offered a vote of confidence to Clayton Richard in this CSN piece, believing that his good sinker will keep generating ground balls (and, if so, will get him some better results, as we discussed yesterday).
  • It was a special moment last night when Cubs fan and NBA reporter Craig Sager, who is battling cancer, got to throw out the first pitch and sing the 7th Inning Stretch for Conquer Cancer Day at Wrigley Field (a game dominated by Jon Lester, himself a cancer survivor; and the first pitch went to Anthony Rizzo, another cancer survivor):

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.