Cubs Better Than Bad, Bote Fine and Good, Yelich Breaking My Brain, Javy Fun, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Better Than Bad, Bote Fine and Good, Yelich Breaking My Brain, Javy Fun, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Another morning of waking up to my hand bit up by one of our cats. It’s not really her fault. She’s very old and almost entirely blind, but she loves to sleep up by my head. When I move in the night and extend my hand out under my head, sometimes it bumps and startles her, so she reacts. I don’t know how much longer she has left, though, so I don’t have the heart to make her sleep anywhere else. Someday I might miss these mornings of bandaids and Neosporin.

  • You can’t undo the losing that kicked off this season, but the Cubs are at least now winning games they should be winning, 6-3 over the past nine games. Moreover, only the Dodgers and Phillies have a better run differential than the Cubs this year. It’s easy to forget: without a few flukey blown leads, the Cubs could easily be 10-6 right now, without their core performance having really changed. Don’t get me wrong, you can play that game with wins, too, and you can do it all season long – I’m more just making the point that the Cubs probably have been “better” than their 7-9 record, and things are trending in a positive direction.
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
  • A bit of a scary moment late in last night’s game, as it looked like David Bote was feeling something in his side after a swing. You immediately think about rib cage strains or oblique strains or other core body issues that keep hitters out for a long, long time. After a check from Joe Maddon and the trainer, Bote stayed in the game, and ultimately word after was that it was just a cramp:

  • He very well could have been getting today off anyway after a couple straight starts, but we’ll keep an eye on things juuuuust in case. Bote currently hitting .294/.385/.500 (131 wRC+) on the young season.
  • Christian Yelich is seriously breaking my baseball brain with the rate at which his fly balls are leaving the park:

  • That’s Yelich’s 9th homer of the year, and since the All Star break last year – NOT A SMALL SAMPLE! – the guy has seen 45.3% of his fly balls leave the ballpark. I truly cannot wrap my head around that. A 20% rate had generally been seen to be (1) very, very good, and (2) about the max of what you could actually control. Certainly the current era has changed some of those dynamics, but not to this extent. This is f***ing insane. He’s untapped something peculiarly unique to himself right now. I’m not sure it will last all year, but it’s not just a fluke at this point. It can’t be.
  • Also, lulz:

  • I know crafting the schedule is very difficult, but I hate when this kind of front-and-back-loading in the division happens for certain teams. Just seems like it doesn’t give the best reflection of the clubs over a full year:

  • Ian Happ is getting in a lot of work with the Cubs’ minor league hitting coordinator while he’s at Iowa:

  • A reminder that the work is what matters and we’re talking about only 48 plate appearances so far, but currently, Happ’s AAA strikeout rate is a completely unacceptable 33.3%.
  • A crazy mix of Deals of the Day at Amazon today, including Segways, electric mosquito repellant devices, and food slicers!
  • #AtCubs had a little fun with the Marlins:

  • Nice:

  • Rough day down on the farm:

  • That included Thomas Hatch, who’d been eye-poppingly good in his first two starts, getting absolutely torched at Tennessee. Bummer. Hopefully it was just one of those things where it was like, “OK, we see what you’re doing, and it’s great. Now let’s see if we can incorporate more of Pitch X in Situation Y,” and it was a … learning experience.
  • I literally cried from laughter when Michael showed me this:

  • I am still firmly on the Mitch Trubisky Train:

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.