A New Streak for the Cubs, the Hyped and Dreaded Yu-Jake Match-Up, and Other Bullets

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A New Streak for the Cubs, the Hyped and Dreaded Yu-Jake Match-Up, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I thought it was fine. Relative to the last two seasons, and against the weight of having to wrap up a decade-long series, I really did think it was fine. Not jaw-dropping or incredible, but fine. And compared to what has come before recently, that’s pretty good. It’ll take some time to digest the final story lines as part of the whole series (because right now, it feels SO disjointed), but I think the series will go down in my mind as one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences I’ve had, overall. Probably not quite there with some of the other golden era top-tier shows, but very high.

I actually think #AtCubs summed it up pretty well, and offered a nice transition in so doing:

  • Any time you head into a road series where you’ll be facing Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg for two of the three games, if you win that series, you’re happy about it. It also still feels like, despite their dreadful record, the Nationals are so much more talented individually than the sum of their parts. Beating them, then, somehow also feels more impressive than it might otherwise just by looking at their results so far.
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
  • Moving ahead now, the Cubs get to come home to host another NL East team, albeit one seeing a great deal more success so far this season: the first place Phillies, fresh off a sweep of the Rockies, with Bryce Harper suddenly on fire. And, of course, the first game of the series tonight features this:

  • I’m excited to get to be in the park for this one, but also pretty unnerved by the very plausible risk of being there for Yu Darvish being booed by his own home fans, who then cheer the opposing pitcher the next inning. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jake Arrieta and always will. I’m just saying, it would be really nice – when you consider all the context, and how the atmospherics seem to affect Darvish – for him to pitch well, get tons of love from the fans, and beat Arrieta here at Wrigley.
  • I recently offered my thoughts on what it means to have traded Tommy La Stella before his power breakout, and here’s more on what he’s doing in his post-Cubs life:

  • Another really good Deal of the Day day at Amazon, with grills, smokers, Dyson vacuums, and swimwear among the big sales.
  • Albert Almora had another couple extra-base hits yesterday, pushing his season line up to .270/.308/.421, which is now actually better by wRC+ (91 versus 89) than last year. He still needs to get up over league average offensively to be a really impactful player overall (when you factor in defense), but this is absolutely a playable level. That said, his quality of contact (huge groundball rate, low hard contact rate, high soft contact rate) is still leaving a lot to be desired, especially for a guy who doesn’t walk (4.4%). It’s a process.
  • A new episode of Onto Waveland is live, and it’s spoiler-free, just in case:

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.