Kintzler Has Been Awesome, Bullpen Still the Best, Caratini's Quick Recovery, and Other Bullets

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Kintzler Has Been Awesome, Bullpen Still the Best, Caratini’s Quick Recovery, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I’m in that danger zone of three straight nights of a couple hours less than normal sleep. Mood goes down, higher-level brain functioning is reduced, and patience is low. It helps to identify it early, though, say it out loud, and then proceed with that knowledge in mind before I scream at someone for not using their turn signal. (Eh, I might do that anyway … THAT’S WHY THE TURN SIGNAL EXISTS YOU SON OF A … )

  • Cubs. Are. Back. ALL RIGHT:

  • How about those relievers last night, eh? Each of Brandon Kintzler, Brad Brach, and Steve Cishek threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. If Cishek is healthy, I tend to think he’s going to be just fine (which is to say, quite good), but the other two were big question marks coming into the season, Brach because of his bout of mono and Kintzler because of very down 2018 season. Brach now has a 2.40 ERA and a 26.2% strikeout rate … but an OMG LOL 24.6% BB rate. So I’d say the jury is still very much out on whether he’s getting back to himself. As for Kintzler, he really only had that blip with the Cubs in the second half last year (after an awkward transition from the Nationals), and he’s got a 2.16 ERA with really good peripherals:

  • We can’t say for sure that Kintzler will continue to be this good all year, but we can say with confidence that he has, in fact, been ridiculous good – in results and his own performance – so far this year. He’s earned it.
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

  • Victor Caratini (hamate bone surgery) is playing with the South Bend Cubs right now on a rehab assignment, but he could be back as soon as, what, like a week from now? It’s not clear, because his recovery has just been so fast ( “It’s incredible,” Joe Maddon said. “I saw [him take batting practice]. My God. It was like normal. There was nothing being held back. He said, ‘Watch this, I’m going to go in the seats.’ And then he’d wind up and he’d go. Like, come on. There was no grimace, there was no holding back, there was nothing. It’s pretty amazing how quickly he’s come back.”
  • Jon Lester roasted his defense, and he also had some more jokes after the game:

  • Javy Baez just keeps doing incredible things:

  • Cubs fans are the best:

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  • Mike Fiers no-hit the Reds overnight (ah, late-night West Coast games … ), and it was actually pretty miraculous:

  • This is just really cool and interesting:

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.