The flurry of news yesterday afternoon/evening plus a game that set yet another record – it bleeds into the morning. I am thus behind. My bad, amigos …
- So, the Cubs have extended their modern record of consecutive games with only one solo home run as the entirety of the offense. It’s the kind of thing that is almost impossible to imagine any team ever replicating again, but we’ve passed the point of thinking it’s unfathomable that they could do it again tonight. PLACE YOUR BETS! WHO WILL THE SOLO HOMER GUY BE TONIGHT!!!
- In all seriousness, it’s not going to happen. Because obviously Daniel Murphy is going to arrive, will contribute directly to the first non-solo-homer run the Cubs have had 50 innings, and we’ll all realize this was just fate giving us the business.
- Being that he was the only guy who hit anything last night – and the fact that he remains the face of the positional group – Anthony Rizzo spoke to the media after the game, and it was a hopeful but sobering, stern but funny session:
Asked Rizzo if he thinks guys are pressing. Heyward was close by and chimed in, "No, no pressing. We don't have anything to press about." Rizzo agreed and added, "The urgency is there, the fight is there, the competitive drive is there. There's no excuse. We're just not hitting."
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 22, 2018
Rizzo to reporters near the end of his media session: "Do you guys think we're going to hit this bad for the rest of the season?" Silence. "I said do you guys think we're going to hit this bad for the rest of the season?" Reporter: "I didn't think you would do this for 5 games."
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 22, 2018
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 22, 2018
- Last night’s loss marked the first time in nearly two months that the Cubs have lost three games in a row. That’s actually kind of impressive, right? And if they win tonight, they continue their improbable streak of not losing a series for nearly four weeks, despite playing so “poorly.”
- Sorry for using an Albert Almora picture on this one – it was too good not to use – because he actually had a couple hits and a walk last night.
- Speaking of the offense and the Murphy addition, the Cubs will have to make a roster move to accommodate him, and you can bet it’ll either be Addison Russell going to the disabled list or David Bote heading to AAA Iowa for 10 days.
- It’ll be nice when the Cubs get this guy back in September (fingers crossed):
Here's a ray of sunshine for Cubs fans: Kris Bryant took batting practice this afternoon as he works his way back from a shoulder injury
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) August 21, 2018
- This might be crazy and fun to watch, but, no, no this is not going to happen:
With the new slide rules that are designed to protect middle infielders on double play attempts, you wonder if it might make sense for Maddon to consider playing Anthony Rizzo at second base in some situations and Murphy at 1B. Rizzo extremely adept, versatile in making throws.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 22, 2018
- Pinch-hitting – and only pinch-hitting – is a very hard job, but Tommy La Stella hasn’t been all that successful at it for a long time after a hot start:
Here's a crazy stat: Tommy La Stella has 5 extra-base hits on the season (all doubles). He hit 2 of those in the first week-plus of the season.
Since April 6, TLS has only 3 extra-base hits in 130 at-bats, good for a .292 SLG in that span.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) August 22, 2018
- Since June, La Stella is hitting just .211/.277/.250 with a 46 wRC+. You pretty much never see pinch hitters able to put up an average line, but you certainly want to see a lot better than that from a guy whose primary job is pinch hitting. I think La Stella still has it in him.
- A little history:
15 years ago #OTD, Sammy Sosa hit career HRs #499 and #500 as a Cub off Curt Schilling.
On the mound, Carlos Zambrano was dealing, as he no-hit the DBacks for 7.2 innings. pic.twitter.com/zKsg4U18xt
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) August 22, 2018
- Such an impressive and speedy Tommy John recovery for a pitching prospect who was right there on the cusp of top 5/10 consideration when he went down last year. Now, he’s headed to AA:
One year ago today I was at my Pre-Op appointment to have surgery on my Ulnar Collateral Ligament. (Tommy John Surgery) Today I received news I’ve been promoted to AA @smokiesbaseball. God has a very mysterious way of working but you just have to trust in him! All Glory to Him.
— Justin Steele (@J_Steele21) August 21, 2018
- Steele is likely to return to AA to start 2019, but, regardless, he’s firmly on the 2019 radar now.
- Speaking of pitchers on the 2019 radar:
ICYMI: When the @IowaCubs season ends, pitcher Dakota Mekkes is planning to go back to college. With how well he's pitching, he might have other plans, like preparing for his first big-league promotion. https://t.co/N5Tqc57GrO #Cubs
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) August 21, 2018
- While the Cubs were sorting out their own injury issues late yesterday, a wave of bad injury news hit the Bears, too.
- Bags, school supplies, Amazon devices – tons of Deals of the Day at Amazon today worth checking out.
- And the extra Cubs clearance at the MLB Shop continues through today.