NL Central Losers Who Lose, Struggling Performers All Over, Not That Machado, and Other Bullets

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NL Central Losers Who Lose, Struggling Performers All Over, Not That Machado, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am annoyed that a caught a recent commercial promo (not really a full new trailer) for ‘Endgame’ that, if you are using your brain at all, really laid bare what the focus of the movie will be (I don’t want to get more specific than that, because while we all obviously have ideas, this was more – too much). I don’t really get why you would have to do that in a commercial for a movie like that – who is out there that is *not* planning to see it, and then sees more details about what’s going to happen in ‘Endgame,’ and suddenly thinks, OK, cool, yes NOW I’ll go see it? Buttholes.

  • In my most trolling voice: the Chicago Cubs currently have fewer losses than the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • In a slightly lesser trolling voice: of course, the last Brewers loss came courtesy of the Cardinals, who are also a top NL Central competitor and, frankly, a bigger Cubs rival, so … what exactly are we saying here?
  • Also, anyone else wonder who is performing well on the Cardinals right now? Like, how are they getting their wins? Well, I was wondering. Turns out, their pitching has been so comically bad that Adam Wainwright(!) is leading the starters at 0.3 WAR, and Jordan Hicks has been great. A couple other relievers have been solid, but, for the most part, the pitching has been garbage. Offensively, though, the Cardinals are getting HUGE performances so far from Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, Paul DeJong, Marcell Ozuna, and Dexter Fowler.
  • This is an extremely fun, interesting, and moderately annoying (when you remember the circumstances) read on the time Francisco Cervelli framed Victor Caratini with an impossibly impressive series of maneuvers (starting before he was even behind the plate). There is so much more to pitch-framing than jerking your glove after you catch the ball. In fact, that is probably the least effective part.
  • I dig these updates Bryan provides (a reminder to follow him on Twitter):

  • Machado is currently hitting .353/.500/.588 with three homers in 15 games. His career high in any one season is five, back at AA a few years ago (remember, though, the ball at AAA is believed to be juiced like the big league balls, and pitchers are no doubt adjusting).
  • A random update on performances to remind you that lots of fan bases are probably terrified right now:

  • (For those wondering, Albert Almora, Jr. would be tied with Yasiel Puig at just 18 wRC+ if he had enough PAs to qualify.)
  • A beautiful reminder here:

  • An awful moment for breakout Pirates reliever Nick Burdi, having previously had arm surgery, and then suddenly crumbling to the ground after a pitch last night – you just hope it’s not as bad as it looked:

  • Hopefully Burdi recovers well and quickly. The human side of it is more important, of course, but he had also emerged as a key piece in a breakout Pirates bullpen, which had been absurdly dominant.
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere in the NL Central … oopsie:

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.