Baez and Rizzo Are Scorching Hot, Murphy Addresses LGBTQ Fans, and Other Bullets

Social Navigation

Baez and Rizzo Are Scorching Hot, Murphy Addresses LGBTQ Fans, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Who will the Reds start today? Will they trade Matt Harvey just before the game? Or will he take the mound? Drama!

  • If you were wondering whether Javy Baez got ALL of that 481-foot homer last night, it sounds like he thinks he did. And that it was just about as good as it gets:

  • The homer was Baez’s 27th on the year, was his second game in a row with a homer, and part of his fourth straight game with multiple hits. That pushed his line back up to .295/.325/.575 with a 133 wRC+. His 4.6 WAR is currently exactly twice as much as he netted last year. Baez also stole his 21st base of the year, leaving open the slim chance that he could get to the 30-30 club.
  • Also hot? Anthony Rizzo, who homered for the third straight game, and pushed his own line to .270/.367/.462 with a 119 wRC+. Given how “down” his season has been, it’s incredible that he’s within striking distance of a typical Rizzo season at this point (the 140 wRC+ range). It would take a continued scorching streak to wrap up the year, but it’s not like Rizzo is unacquainted with protracted scorching streaks. And, with Daniel Murphy in the house and Kris Bryant soon to return, good offense can beget good offense and better opportunities for Rizzo at the plate. Just sayin’.
  • Oh, and with four more steals, Rizzo can get to the 10-10 club for the third time in his career!
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Nice to see the Cubs taking the opportunity to convert one of the extra losses the Cardinals and Brewers have banked into a full game in the standings:

  • It’s Players Weekend, so get ready to see the fun uniforms this weekend. And hopefully some shenanigans.
  • Daniel Murphy was asked yesterday at his introductory Wrigley Field press conference about LGBTQ fans – an allusion to his 2015 comments about not agreeing with the “gay lifestyle” – and although he did not take the opportunity to update his perspective, I also have a hard time blasting him for his responses, specifically:

  • I think Murphy missed an opportunity here, and was too dismissive of a legitimate question about how his presence impacts the relationship between gay fans and their fandom. He did not double-down on his early comments, though, and did speak about some positive things. Of course I wish he had simply said that he now recognizes that gay fans are who they are, and it’s not his place to “agree” with who they were born to be. But that’s not where he is right now, so how many times can we (baseball writers) scold a guy for the same perspective? I think he’s mistaken, and I think he’s mistaken in a way that hurts people unnecessarily. But he’s also a human, so, I gotta be honest, I’m trying to figure out where my own sense of empathy for all people, including Murphy, fits into this. It’s not easy, and it’s not easy to try to reconcile these things publicly in a way that’s useful for readers – many of whom do not agree with me.
  • Don’t mess with the Cubs on Twitter:

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.