#AlStar, Big Day for Darvish, Fortunate Split, Pants Injuries, and Other Bullets

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#AlStar, Big Day for Darvish, Fortunate Split, Pants Injuries, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

A really good morning workout ends with your shoes wet from sweat, apparently. Enjoy your breakfast!

  • The Cubs split their games yesterday as the Brewers won, so we don’t get to do the fun “ooh, haha, the Cubs are technically in first place” thing anymore. The Cubs still have one fewer loss than the Brewers, but they are a half-game behind and a tiny fraction of a percentage point behind in winning percentage.
  • But, hey, it could have been worse. For as much as we’re understandably gnashing our teeth about the Cubs blowing the first game and failing all day long to come through with runners on base, the Dodgers did the same thing. They, too, had a one-run lead in the final three innings of the game, and they, too, repeatedly blew chances to break the game open. It’s not at all hard to imagine the Cubs getting whooped in that first game and then failing to come back to win the second.
  • Yu Darvish (triceps inflammation) has had several successful bullpen sessions, and will pitch a simulated game today at Wrigley Field. His pitching coach suggested today that if it goes well, it might be the only simulated game he needs:

  • Joe Maddon offered a little caution, though, about getting too far ahead of ourselves (CBS): “Let’s just get this sim game in and see how he comes out of it the next day. We can read how he is feeling and make the next part of the plan. We are really taking his one piece by piece. This is not even written down in pencil.”
  • Brandon Morrow’s back spasms yesterday were triggered by taking off his pants following a flight, and I’d make fun, but if you’ve got any kind of lower back issues, you know that pants-related activity can be challenging. Heck, anything can trigger a spasm if it’s really flared up. That’s why I was never particularly keen on making fun of Sammy Sosa when he had to go on the DL after a sneeze – that can totally happen! I’ll joke about the situation, sure, but I can’t make fun of guys in these situations.
  • As for the substance of the back issue, holding Morrow out yesterday was described as precautionary, but we’ll see if he’s available today. I’d imagine Maddon would prefer not to have to make that decision, so maybe the Cubs’ bats could just blow up. (UPDATE: He’s going on the DL.)
  • More on Mike Montgomery coming soon, but you know, this is just awesome:

  • After failing to come through in Game One yesterday when Jason Heyward was walked ahead of him, Albert Almora admitted that he REALLY wanted to come through last night when the opportunity presented itself again (Suntimes). And come through he did.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Following yesterday’s heroics, Albert Almora continues to put together a stellar season:

  • While some folks bristle when he doesn’t start, Almora is still having a very full season overall, and he’s clearly being put in positions to succeed *WHILE* still developing. I actually think, rather than criticism, Maddon and the coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for how the year for Almora has gone.
  • Well done, Michael:

  • That was a fun one:

  • And speaking of fun:

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.