Sleeping Brett-y, Going for the Extra Base, A Bad Night in the Standings, Mr. .300, and Other Bullets

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Sleeping Brett-y, Going for the Extra Base, A Bad Night in the Standings, Mr. .300, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Sleeping Brett-y … You know, like “Sleeping Beauty.” I think it sounded better in my head. 

Thanks to all of you – and, of course, our fearless, sleepy leader, Brett Taylor – the 2018 Bleacher Nation Blogathon raised over $21,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That’s enough to sponsor 3.5 wishes! Dude. You guys absolutely rock.

In case you missed it, Brett rounded everything up lat night with a comprehensive post featuring all of the gory details from the 40-hour long event (which included 69 posts, 9 locations, 11 miles, and 13 different caffeinated and sugary drinks). He has earned himself a nice, long sleeping in, and, so, I’m here for your morning bullets.

  • The most obvious first thing to talk about here is the Addison Russell over-turned call at third from last night’s game. In case you missed it, the Cubs were down two runs in the ninth, when David Bote started yet another apparent comeback with a single to left field against one of the game’s better relievers, Felipe Vazquez. Russell, then, smoked a would-be triple to right, but the tag call at third was eventually overturned … despite nothing *we* saw supporting that argument.
  • Whenever that’s the case, the common refrain is “New York must have some angle we don’t,” but that was hardly comforting when what we saw was – at best – not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field.

  • I understand the argument being made (he popped off the bag after initially beating the throw) and I’m even OK with that sort of review. But man alive, I cannot see where the out was made. This is the best shot of the play that I’ve seen so far, but even then, I mean, can you really tell for sure his right forearm isn’t still on the bag?

  • Had the call stood, Russell would’ve been 90 feet away from a tie game with no outs, down a single run and Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward up. Instead, Russell was the first and most crucial out and the rest is history.
  • Final thought on that play: I know Russell probably should’ve stayed at second there, but 1) hindsight is 20-20, 2) the Cubs have made a living going for the extra base, and 3) Felipe Vazquez is sufficiently good that even with Rizzo/Zobrist/Heyward up, you can’t count on stringing together multiple hits/scoring Russell from second. It was a crummy loss with even worse timing, but I don’t want to lay it all on Russell’s shoulders.
  • That solo shot from Gregory Polanco in the bottom of the 8th was just the third earned run Justin Wilson has allowed since June and the first home run since June 25th, but Polanco is now 2-6 with 2 HRs against Wilson lifetime and the second one was ultimately a game-decider:
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
  • Speaking of the standings, the Brewers also won last night, because, the stupid freakin’ Dodgers couldn’t manage to score a single run (maybe the Brewers DON’T need starters!). That was the Dodgers sixth shutout of the year and their first in well over a month. Awesome timing, bros. 
  • The Brewers (63-47) have two more wins for the Cubs and are technically tied for first place in the NL Central (though the Cubs still have a slightly better winning percentage). Moving on.
  • The Cardinals lost yesterday too, dropping them back within a game of .500 … on a day when they traded their 2017 MVP, Tommy Pham, who then promptly dunked on them on the way out the door:

  • But that wasn’t the only headline Pham was part of yesterday. Mark Saxon (The Athletic) brought up Pham’s “exercise equipment” complaint, but Pham hit back hard, claiming he … made it up?

  • To be fair to Saxon, who responded politely (and genuinely, I believe) saying “Sorry you feel that way, honestly, but are you saying the incident never happened?” this is a little confusing from Pham. There’s literally video (below) of Pham discussing his denied request for a treadmill and how the conversations with (Cardinals GM Michael) Girsch are “Not good … It’s not going well.”

  • Maybe Pham is just saying that he didn’t actually become unhappy/there were no lingering tensions? Or maybe the treadmill thing was just a bit of a dry joke that didn’t really translate through an interview? I must be missing something, because I just don’t get it.
  • Cubs Pitching Coach Jim Hickey jumped on 670 The Score this morning to reveal that Yu Darvish is scheduled to throw a simulated game in a few days! He also added another bit of good news:

  • I had already come to assume that Smyly was going to contribute this season, but now I suppose we have a little more confirmation. Nice.
  • Javy Baez continues to be stunningly hot. After recording another three hits (including a homer and a double), Baez extended his hitting streak to four games last night and pushed his batting average to an even .300 for the season. We’ll have more on him and his big night/season later today, but that really stood out to me.
  • FanGraphs ranked every prospect traded at the deadline and Rollie Lacy (Cole Hamels deal) finished highest for the Cubs at 47th overall, while two other prospects, Ricky Tyler Thomas (Jesse Chavez deal) and Jhon Romero (Brandon Kintzler deal) ranked 50th or lower. When you’re able to get three pretty significant pitching additions without even giving up top 40 prospects traded at the deadline, you probably did alright.
  • Speaking of Hamels, the newest Cubs starter will debut later today, and I’m pretty darn anxious to see him pitch. I’m trying my hardest not to expect too much from him – especially given the way things have gone for him lately – but it’s just so hard to forget what he once was.
  • We’ll have much more for you as the day goes on – and Brett awakens from his slumber – but for now, the deals of the day at Amazon include the Dyson  “Animal” vacuum, which I have had for three years now and absolutely could not live without. If you have a dog (like me) or a cat (like Brett), you really have to get one of these bad boyz.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami