Fortunate to Win Two of Three, the “Foul” Ball, Heyward’s Return, and Other Bullets

The folks at Raisin’ Cane’s must think I’m absolutely insane. I generally come every Monday – sweating like a pig from exercising – order my food, set up my computer, individually wrap each chicken finger in a napkin, and then work for like 20+ minutes before I actually start eating. They don’t need all that extra grease, man! And I have stuff to do before I can eat! I have reasons for my madness!

  • Joe Maddon sums up the Reds series appropriately (Cubs.com): “We’ve got to do better than one run, somehow. Under the circumstances [of] the three games [this series], we’re fortunate to win two. We really are. We scored five runs in three games and won two.” Yup, very, very fortunate. And it’s not as if Thursday’s off-day – if the Cubs can at least hold serve until then – is going to be some magical cure for the offense’s woes. I guess you just have to hope it’s one of those things where guys are all cold at the same time, and the exponential effects of offense will all kick in around the same time as the playoffs approach, with lots of guys getting hot at the same time. Hope is not a strategy, of course, but I’m not sure what else the Cubs – organizationally – can do at this point.
  • The Cubs should have had at least one more run yesterday, for what it’s worth, because this was a fair ball:
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  • When the umpire is just outside the foul line, and jumps up and into it – past first base – and hits the dang ball, that’s obviously fair. I know it’s hard for him to make the right call in that moment, and I know it can’t be reviewed, but somehow the game has to figure out how to get that one right.
  • (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

  • As expected, the plan is not necessarily to get Jason Heyward (hamstring) right back in there as an everyday starter, but ease him back into things (Cubs.com). When he does begin starting regularly again, it’s going to create a ripple effect that will probably cut playing time for Addison Russell and David Bote, as it pushes Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant back into the infield more frequently. Given how Russell and Bote have been hitting lately, that might not be a bad thing, though both are obviously quality defenders.
  • Brandon Morrow’s simulated game went well, and theoretically, he could get something like a “test inning” this week in Arizona if he’s still feeling good. It’s going to be tricky to make it happen perfectly (especially if the offense doesn’t pick it up), because you’d ideally like to throw him out there for 15 pitches in a very low-leverage inning. You don’t want him pushing too hard in the first outing, and you also don’t want to risk, like, losing a game because you’re taking care of him.
  • Hey, how well did Maddon and Willson Contreras handle his blunder not running out of the box yesterday? Maddon immediately and publicly condemned it, but also noted that he’d talked to Contreras about it first and it was settled. And then Contreras spoke to the media and owned up to it immediately. A two or three-day story becomes a 10-minute story, and everyone moves on. Well done.
  • I don’t know how they did it, but Amazon summed me up with its four Deals of the Day today: jeans, Play-doh, water filter … and cat litter.
  • This runs through today:
  • Meanwhile, a big, big night looms for the Bears:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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