Are We Urgent or Are We Chill and Other Bullets

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Are We Urgent or Are We Chill and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

These off-days after an ugly loss, man. It’s been a Cubs staple for years now, right? Even when they’ve otherwise won lots of games. If an off-day looms, the Cubs are about to lose ugly.

  • I’m pleased not to have seen a ton of “yeah but the offense sucked, too” stuff out there about last night’s game, which has instead mostly (and rightly) focused on the borderline historically bad defense. The bats actually did a good job of grinding last night, accepting their walks, netted nine hits, and had plenty of opportunities to do damage. Ultimately, they didn’t get many extra-base hits (just two Mark Zagunis doubles), grounded into three double plays (two by Jason Heyward … ), and didn’t have any hits with runners in scoring position (0-8). Those are all bad things, to be sure, but they aren’t necessarily predictive of future struggles. I know we’ve done this dance a lot over the past few years, but for now, I’m very content with the offense, and to say: just keep getting guys on base, and the damage will follow.
  • As for Kyle Hendricks, it’s so hard to fairly evaluate a guy’s performance when everything was falling apart behind him from the get-go, creating extra outs, extra pitches, longer innings, etc. I don’t think Hendricks is the type of guy to get “rattled,” but it’s at all hard to imagine a scoreless first inning if Zagunis just catches that first foul pop fly.
  • That said, Hendricks did allow seven batted balls of over 100 mph, and he got almost no soft contact – a staple when he’s locating and moving the ball as well as he can. I think it was probably not a great start, but again, so much was messy.
  • Remember how I wrote about the trouble balancing the “it’s all fine, it’s a long season” attitude of Joe Maddon clubs with the “URGENCY!” message of the front office? Well, here it is, four games into the season, from David Bote at ESPN: “We have 158 to go. No worries. We’ll be all right.” And from Hendricks:

  • That’s the problem. You want guys to feel the sense of urgency right out of the gate … but it doesn’t actually do them any good to have a loss like last night, and then feel like crap about themselves for two days. What’s the point of that? It’s not going to help them perform to the best of their abilities on Wednesday. I worry that the mixed signals are going to be a storyline all year.
  • Also, this:

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
  • This is fun, thank you for sharing this fun:

  • All of us:

  • Not sure what this is about, but MLB has made videos on its site un-searchable, and has removed the ability to share clips from the At Bat app. Since those videos are explicitly designed to pump up the sport – that’s what highlights are – and since MLB and its partners can monetize those videos with ads up front, I can’t quite understand any good reason why they would have intentionally removed this stuff. Glitch? Transitional error? Would love to know. But this makes me nervous about the proper perspectives on growing the sport:

  • INSTANT UPDATE: very good news on the MLB/MiLB highlights front right here – indeed, the issues do seem to be technological, rather than philosophical:

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.