I’ll say very little here, both because I don’t want to spoil anyone who hasn’t yet had a chance to watch, and because the importance of an entertainment program is powerfully diminished given what’s happening in Texas. Suffice to say: I was pleased with the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale last night. It didn’t salvage the season for me by any stretch, but it was a vastly superior episode to those that came before.
- The sunny-side take on yesterday’s loss to the Phillies is espoused, in part, in this ESPN piece, suggesting that it took some crazy things for the Cubs to lose that game – a flukey triple play, a Kris Bryant error on a would-have-been double play ball (which preceded a five-run inning), and another line drive double play hit into by Bryant. While that’s undoubtedly true, the Cubs did have many other chances to score more runs yesterday, including in that three-run first inning: the first four batters reached, the Cubs loaded the bases twice in the inning, and the second time they did so after having already scored three runs with just one out. Rene Rivera struck out, and John Lackey grounded out. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on the Cubs for failing to add in that situation, given where they were in the batting order, but the larger point remains: you never know how the scoring is going to go in the rest of the game, so any opportunity missed – even in the first inning, and even after already scoring three runs – can burn you.
- If the Cubs manage to pile on there, maybe they not only add more runs, but maybe they also bounce the starting pitcher early, and completely wreck the day for the Phillies from the get-go.
- Generally, there are three kinds of triple plays: the perfectly-placed around-the-horn grounder, the terrible luck line drive with runners going, and the whoa-something-crazy-happened type. The Cubs got tripled up yesterday, and it was mostly that third one:
Now that’s what I call togetherness! pic.twitter.com/mGhGs6QlcU
— Phillies (@Phillies) August 27, 2017
- The runners got caught in no man’s land because of the snow-coned, on-the-ground catch, followed immediately by Hoskins dropping the ball. I would have been a little confused, too, if I were out there. Sucks that it happened, because the Cubs may well have added to their lead sufficiently to not lose the game later on, but I can’t summon the ire to be angry at the baserunners on that one.
- In fact, Joe Maddon made a good point after the game: if Anthony Rizzo doesn’t commit one way or the other, Hoskins might’ve picked the ball on the bounce, and then thrown Rizzo out easily at third.
- There was one bright spot in the game:
Almost had him. pic.twitter.com/0DYyHavnVw
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) August 28, 2017
- A little history today:
- Given the historic flooding in parts of Houston, the Astros will soon have to make a decision about where and when they will be playing their games. Given the way one team’s schedule has ripple effects outward, a lengthy departure from Minute Maid Park could present a number of challenges. Not that it’s AT ALL the most important consideration, but at least the Astros are so far out in first place in the AL West that logistical issues, alone, probably won’t derail their season.
- And in looking at the AL playoff picture, I notice: that second AL Wild Card race is something else. There are 7(!) teams within three games of that spot, currently held by the Twins. The Yankees are up 3.5 games on the Twins for the top Wild Card spot.
- Um, holy crap: Joey Votto saw 43 pitches yesterday IN ZERO AT BATS.
- I really like this. You so often see the catcher trotting to first base with little on the line, but this is why he does it:
This is why a good catcher backs up at first base. You just never know. pic.twitter.com/wPueOBuqEj
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) August 27, 2017
- A profile on Dave Kaplan in the Tribune, and, man, whatever else you think, you cannot NOT be impressed by how hard this guy works and grinds every day. I know that I work very hard (believe it or not!), but I’m awed by the schedule this guy keeps.
- Over at TYL, Mitch Trubisky was great yesterday, but he saved his praise for Mike Glennon, who was also very good. Unfortunately it was a very, very bad day on the injury front for the Bears.
- Hey dog owners: deal of the day at Amazon is dog toys and treats, so treat your pup.