Happy with a Split, a Kickstart Win, Working with Young Catchers, and Other Bullets

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Happy with a Split, a Kickstart Win, Working with Young Catchers, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Is this a holiday weekend? I keep seeing people reference it that way, but with the Fourth of July on a Tuesday, it’s kind of awkward timing. I know that we’re going to do some holiday-like things this weekend, but I’m still going to be working like usual this weekend and Monday.

I guess if you aren’t, perhaps you can at least still stop on by here and enjoy BN so that we’re not working for no reason … *winky emoji but not too creepy*

  • I said I’d be happy with a split in Washington, and the Cubs got a split in Washington. I’m happy. Obviously it would have been preferable to hang on for a series win in Miami, but the Cubs can still make this a winning road trip by taking two of three in Cincinnati. They might have to do it without a number of starters, but it’s doable. And if they pull that off, you’ve gotta be thrilled, overall, with how the road trip has gone.
  • Pretty amazing how different the two wins in the series left you feeling, given that both wound up 5-4, eh?
  • In the 9th inning, the Cubs’ chances of winning that game were just 3.6%. Even after scoring a run, and bringing Jon Jay to the plate with the lead run on first, their chances were just 16.4%. After Jay’s double – just one swing of the bat – the Cubs’ chances of winning the game increased to 83.0%(!).
  • Comments from Cubs players and Joe Maddon after yesterday’s dramatic win all hint about something that none of them are going to outright say (ESPN), so I’ll infer it: they’re thinking maybe that was finally the win that gets them going. If that’s really going to feel like the case, I think they’re going to need to win tonight. Get after it, Mike Montgomery.
  • One more look at the comeback:

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
  • With the Cubs now working with two young catchers, it may be necessary for the pitchers to sometimes signal their own pitches (Tribune). Unorthodox, yes, but it could help avoid disruptions in the rhythm if there’s a whole lot of shaking off going on. Longer term, I still think we’re going to see the Cubs pursuing a veteran back-up, at a minimum to have at the ready at AAA.
  • It’s likely that Nolan Arenado passed Kris Bryant in the All-Star voting at third base in the last couple days, given the respective momentum each had going into the final voting yesterday. With Bryant’s ankle now banged up, him missing the All-Star Game – even if selected as a reserve – is probably not the worst thing in the world, even if it’s fun to see Cubs players in the game.
  • Although he played hero last night, Jon Jay has been in a bit of a slump since the scorching start to his Cubs career. Even going back to May 1, Jay has hit just .271/.347/.336 (82 wRC+), which, like, whatever, he’s a bench bat, but it’s a far cry from where he was to start the year (.385/.478/.487 (162 wRC+) in April).
  • After the Cubs’ big comeback in the top of the 9th last night, Wade Davis dominated the bottom of the 9th to close things out. Although he’s had some shaky outings lately, he seems to be a guy who really answers the bell in those biggest, tightest moments. He remains perfect in save opportunities this season with the Cubs (a franchise record 16 for 16 to start the season), and his numbers are still silly good: 1.93/1.78/2.66, 37.5% K rate, 8.9% BB rate.
  • Very cool, and a reason to visit:

  • We looked at the HBP from last night, and it sounds like a lot of you think the Blake Treinen pitch that hit Jeimer Candelario on the knee was intentional. I’m not sure I agree, but I don’t think you’re crazy for thinking it. This, on the other hand, is some other level stuff:

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.