Bryant's Decision Not to Go Home, Edwards' Struggles, and Other Bullets

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Bryant’s Decision Not to Go Home, Edwards’ Struggles, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am taking the big kiddos to the dentist with me this morning for their appointments and my own. I will accept your thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE: It went reasonably well. The kids were great, though The Little Boy had an accident with the toy chest (one of those bouncing rubber ball paddles became an eye hazard). Unfortunately for me, two old fillings need to be replaced. Grumble.

  • So, outside of the bullpen’s control problems that ultimately cost the Cubs the game yesterday, the big play folks are deconstructing in the wake of the loss is the fielder’s choice groundout that scored the winning run in the 9th. Here’s the play:

  • So, in hindsight and from above, it’s obvious the Kris Bryant made a mistake there. With a force at home and a hot smash, he easily had a play to get a single out at home and prolong the game. That is not to say he *definitely* would have gotten the out, as that’s a tough play regardless. But the better decision was to go home.
  • With no time to think and only a reaction to go by, Bryant decided to try for two. It was the wrong decision – I just don’t think there’s a question about that when you watch the play – but it was a completely defensible decision in the moment. It’s all just reaction, and when you get a hot shot like that playing in at third, I can understand why you’d instantaneously think you could turn two. But Christian Yelich is just way too fast for that.
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
  • From Bryant on the play ( “It was like the perfect storm with a plus-plus runner at third, plus-runner hitting. It took me right to third. If it was a little closer to the bag, step on third, throw it to first. You just have to make a decision there, snap decision, and that’s the one I think most third basemen would make going towards the bag. I don’t even know how I caught the ball in the first place. It was a tough play.” Indeed it was, and I don’t think you can rag on Bryant for how this played out. It’s not like he booted a routine grounder in the third inning with the bases empty. He didn’t put those runners on base …
  • In the 8th inning, the Cubs lost their one-run lead when Carl Edward Jr. couldn’t find the strike zone, an unfortunate thing that happens to him from time to time, but he’d been working a streak of 11 straight scoreless appearances before that. In those 11 appearances, though, he was rocking equal(ly ugly) 13.5% K and BB rates. He’s been a little bit off for a while now, and the Cubs are running out of time to get him right.
  • This is a good read on Tyler Chatwood, if for no other reason than the confirmation from Joe Maddon about everything we think is true:

  • Physically, Chatwood is fine. Stuff-wise, he has a fantastic arm. But he doesn’t know where the ball is going, and no one is quite sure why. The Cubs will have to hope an offseason reset makes things click back into place, but since hope is not a strategy, they will have to plan as though they’re going to have a very expense question mark somewhere around the 6th spot in the rotation.
  • Speaking of the rotation heading into next year, I notice on the transaction log that Drew Smyly had been assigned to the Iowa Cubs for yesterday’s game, presumably to make his next/final rehab appearance … and the game was rained out. Now the Cubs will have to decide, on the basis of somewhat limited in-game information, whether he’s ready to be activated from the 60-day DL (thus requiring a 40-man spot) to try to contribute down the stretch out of the bullpen. Otherwise, he’ll continue to work out in preparation of trying to win a rotation spot next spring.
  • Coffee, binoculars, and much more are your 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.