Rotation Disruption, GLHOAT Rides Again, Almora's Catch, Hader Standing O, and Other Bullets

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Rotation Disruption, GLHOAT Rides Again, Almora’s Catch, Hader Standing O, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It’s weird to see Tiger Woods near the top of the leaderboard in a major in 2018, but that’s what’s up this morning at The Open. I know he’s had quite a journey – much of it of his own making – but I still find myself pulling for him. I think mostly we sports fans just want to see greatness in front of us. “I saw it!,” and all that.

  • Like I said last night, there’s no shame in splitting a doubleheader, and the Cubs come into today’s game against the Cardinals with a chance to win the five-game series. The Brewers finally won a game last night, which re-closed the gap in the Central to 2.5 games behind the Cubs (the Cardinals are 7.5 back). The Brewers still, however, have four more losses than the Cubs, and will need to make a major addition in the next nine days to really push back against the Cubs, in my humble opinion.
  • Although you’d still like to see more than three strikeouts over six innings, Mike Montgomery got a ton of groundballs, walked only two, and didn’t give up much hard contact last night – that’s a very good start, and it had the look of the guy he was flashing in his first five starts in the rotation. It was inevitable that he’d get hit a bit, as he has the last couple times, but the whole body of work still looks like a guy you’d want to keep in the rotation after Yu Darvish is ready to return. That might still be a month away, though, so the actual rotation “fit” question will probably come much sooner: if the Cubs add a rental starter at the deadline, as they should, then what happens to the rotation? Is Montgomery bounced back to the bullpen right away? Is Tyler Chatwood bounced to the bullpen? Do the Cubs go with a six-man rotation even before Darvish returns? As always, an injury could answer that question for the Cubs, but you certain don’t want to root for that.
  • Montgomery got an assist from Albert Almora in center field – feels like it’s been a while, doesn’t it? – with this fantastic catch:

  • Appropriate:
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Since being put back into the leadoff spot before the break, Anthony Rizzo is on fire (as he pretty much ALWAYS is when he leads off), boosting his season line to .258/.359/.426 with a 109 wRC+. Whether he’s a perfect fit or not for the leadoff spot, and whether it’s all just in everyone’s head, you simply cannot change things right now, and Rizzo is leading off again today. I mean, the guy is hitting freaking .542/.636/.833 in these seven games since he started leading off again.
  • Cardinal or no, I gotta give some praise to Matt Carpenter, who pinch hit last night and in so doing homered in his sixth consecutive game (with eight total homers in that stretch). He’d almost homered twice in the earlier game, too. The absurd stretch has brought him all the way up to a .277/.386/.593 line with a 160 wRC+, best in the NL.
  • Something clearly went wrong with Carlos Martinez in his start against the Cubs, as he’s been put on the DL with an oblique strain, which he apparently suffered during the inning that the Cubs started knocking him around. The Cardinals anticipate he’ll miss only one start.
  • Well this is extremely gross:

  • I get that he’s on the team, his teammates support him, and as a fan you want him to perform well. But that kind of ovation, like he’d just worked his way back from major surgery or something … it just doesn’t sit right with me.
  • Sheets, grills, books, helmets – it’s an eclectic mix of Deals of the Day at Amazon today.

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.