Is Everybody Happy Again? Bryant is Back, Pedro is Fun, and Other Bullets

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Is Everybody Happy Again? Bryant is Back, Pedro is Fun, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Ah, quite a turn from just a day ago. A Cubs blowout and six hours of sleep got me feeling like:

(That was Pedro Strop randomly poking his head out of the bullpen last night, by the way. It was excellent.)

  • Did you feel like the parade of multi-run homers last night was the first such streak in a while? Well, you’re right: prior to last night, when ALL of the homers were multi-run shots, the Cubs had hit 13(!) straight solo homers. Baseball is just so ridiculous sometimes.
  • Speaking of ridiculous:

  • The Cubs are suddenly good on offense again! (And future Cubs.) They also scored as many runs last night as they did during the entirety of their five-game losing streak.
  • Bryant’s big night at the plate, as Michael noted, pushed him back into the top four in the NL in wRC+, and also turned the narrative about how he’s performed post-beaning on its head. Such is the nature of small samples, but now Bryant is hitting .237/.293/.605 (137 wRC+) since he was hit in the head in the Rockies series. More or less fine.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Carrie Muskat reports that Yu Darvish (DL with parainfluenza virus) had been feeling ill for a few days, so Cubs decided to scratch him. It’s not yet determined whether Jen-Ho Tseng will start today or if it’ll be a bullpen day. From where I sit, you might as well bring up Tseng and have him start, but on a very short leash. How much do you really lose if the alternative is a bullpen day anyway? I suppose the risk is that he gets bombed out right out of the gate, but that’s a risk for anyone who could kick off the game today, shy of the back-end relievers … who aren’t going to go early today anyway.
  • It was good to see Willson Contreras generating a lot of hard contact last night, even if a couple of his SHOTS did not actually turn into hits:

  • I dug this read on Adbert Alzolay, the Cubs’ most immediately-available, impact-potential starting pitching prospects:

  • He’s got the big league starter arsenal available at this point, but it’s not easy to see where that rotation spot is going to be for Alzolay right now, or even next year (consider that, in addition to the full five-man rotation that carries over to next year, the Cubs will also be adding Drew Smyly to the mix). Things have a way of working themselves out, though, and, in any case, I hope Alzolay gets a big league start or two this year (doubleheader days, perhaps?) and maybe even helps out of the bullpen late in the year.
  • Cubs shortstop prospect Zack Short, 22, is experiencing a power surge at AA, with a .239 ISO nearly double his career mark to date in the minors. Think he’s bought into the fly-ball revolution? He’s currently sporting a 57.4% (LOLOLOLOL) fly ball rate.
  • Cubs players doing good:

  • I wrote something baseball-adjacent, and personally-important, yesterday if you didn’t see. Thanks for the kindness you’ve shown:

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.