Kris Bryant's Finger is "Brutal," John Lackey Has Been Solid, and Other Bullets

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Kris Bryant’s Finger is “Brutal,” John Lackey Has Been Solid, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Eleven years ago today, I felt very strange.

I felt very strange because I didn’t feel any of the things movies and friends had told me I was supposed to be feeling. That is to say, I was about to get married, then just 24 years old, and I didn’t feel even the remotest sense of unease or trepidation. My feet were completely warm. Mostly I just wanted to make sure I delivered the jokes in my vows well. (Yes, there were jokes in my vows.)

And eleven years later, I still know today why I felt strange that day about how un-strange I actually felt: I knew I’d found the right partner. There was no doubt in my mind. There still isn’t.

Happy anniversary, dear.

  • John Lackey’s season numbers are still ugly, but is there anyone left who doesn’t trust that he’ll put in a competitive outing most times he takes the mound now? I don’t know if it was the way he was preserved in the first half, or if he was saving a little bit for the second half (or maybe it was the foot issue that put him on the DL before the All-Star break), but since the break, Lackey has made five starts, and put up a 3.42 ERA. The peripherals are still rather ugly, so maybe there’s some flukishness to it, but Lackey’s actually been getting solid results since mid-June.
  • We recently wrote about Kris Bryant’s extended power outage following his return from a slide-induced pinky injury, and he was asked how the pinky is doing after Thursday’s off-day and Friday’s return to action. The answers leave me feeling … uneasy:

  • I wasn’t there for the tone and all that, but don’t the responses seem to tell you everything you want to know? The pinky injury is significant, and causing Bryant problems. He’s able to play – he had three hits last night – but the impact is there. My hope that the power outage was a mere small sample fluke just went to about zero. Now my hope is that the impact of the injury starts fading in the coming weeks.
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
  • Eric Longenhagen wrote about everyone’s favorite relief prospect (well, or second favorite, behind Dillon Maples), Dakota Mekkes, and he articulated very well my concerns about him sustaining his absurd level of success when he reaches AA and AAA, much less MLB. In short, because of his huge size, stride, and deception, lower-level hitters can’t do anything with this guy they see just once, don’t have deep scouting and preparation for, and haven’t experienced. The actual stuff is not necessarily overwhelming, and there are control issues. Generally, pitchers in that rare profile do not succeed as they face more experienced hitters. That said, it’s rare that a team drafts a relief-only prospect as high as the Cubs did, and pays him a reasonable bonus to sign. Mekkes is definitely more interesting than your typical High-A relief-only prospect, but this is definitely a case where we should not let the numbers dictate our perspective just yet.
  • Kyle Schwarber and Alex Avila stepped up last night.
  • Cubs gettin’ clever:

  • And then they won another couple games in a row, so whatever. The Cardinals Voodoo Magic is invulnerable. Cubs’ll just have to do it themselves.
  • Over at TYL, Luis is headed back to Bears camp for the day, and he explored something that Mitch Trubisky *didn’t* do perfectly in his stellar preseason debut.
  • Big sale at Amazon on an essential oil air diffuser, which I know, sounds like a weird thing, but I really like ours. It smells good, and maybe it’s all placebo effect, but I feel a little better when I walk through the mist. (OK, that’s probably entirely placebo effect.)
  • META: Some commenters have started to push the line too far again with respect to GIFs and pictures and gratuitous commentary. You are reminded that this is a safe-for-work site. Needless focus on bare, strategically covered, bouncing, etc., bosoms or butts or whatever are not acceptable in the comments. I ask other folks, when you see them, flag them. And for those of you who want to have a little late night fun to see what happens: don’t. It’s not worth it for me, and it’s not worth it for you.

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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.