Rizzo Ailing, Darvish Dealing, Morrow Dominating, Bryant Balling, and Other Bullets

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Rizzo Ailing, Darvish Dealing, Morrow Dominating, Bryant Balling, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Yesterday’s late win ensured that this opening road trip to the season will conclude, at worst, as “bad but passable” instead of “wow, that really was quite awful.” And if the Cubs manage to win today? Going 5-4 in this stretch, on paper, is not what you would have wanted to see, but it’s also perfectly fine. Whatever the opponent, it’s hard to win a ton on the road.

  • The Cubs will be without Anthony Rizzo again today (back), which is more than he has typically missed with these kinds of back stiffness issues. That’s three days off in a row for Rizzo. Given that the minimum DL stint is 10 days, with Tuesday’s off-day, if the Cubs decided to DL Rizzo in advance of tomorrow’s home opener and get an extra body up, he’d miss only 6 more games. The Cubs probably won’t do it unless Rizzo projects to miss at least the next couple games, but then again, if something happens in today’s game that makes having a fresh body or arm up tomorrow, then maybe a close decision becomes an easier one.
  • Meanwhile, for the Brewers, they’ve opted to send Christian Yelich (oblique) to the DL. He wasn’t in the lineup today, and has missed this whole series.
  • In addition to being awesome, Yu Darvish was a bit more diverse in outing number two. After being oddly limited against the Marlins, Darvish threw three changeups and six curveballs in this one. He was still mostly fastball (34 four-seamer, 17 sinker) and slider (33), but he planted the seeds. And unlike the first start, this time he got lots of whiffs against the fastball.
  • About the slider – Willson Contreras says it’s actually more like three sliders, with one that he throws to get ahead in a count, another to get a second strike, and a third to wipe the batter out (Cubs.com). If you were watching yesterday, you can visualize them. Throws a traditional, looping slider into the zone to get strike one. Then he throws a frisbee slider to get strike two. Then he throws one way off the plate to get a swing and miss for strike three.
  • Brandon Morrow finally got into another game after his two-pitch debut in Miami. This time, it was a traditional save, and although he allowed a single, he looked magnificent:

  • Kris Bryant had a perfect day yesterday, with two walks, a homer, a triple, and a single. His season line improved to a comical .364/.500/.697, though his 210 wRC+ is only 7th best in the NL because early season numbers are often silly. My guess is he doesn’t stay behind Maikel Franco and Joe Panik for long.
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
  • Fiendish grin:

  • Rivalry:

  • This is brutal and hilarious. Imagine watching your team lose like this:

  • Be good to him, Philly fans:

  • Pretty sweet walk-off for Cutch:

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.