Leaving Runs Out There, Reliever Injury Updates, Booing Bryant, and Other Bullets

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Leaving Runs Out There, Reliever Injury Updates, Booing Bryant, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Wife and I are getting another day date today (amusement park yesterday, helping at a Special Olympics event today), which is pretty awesome. We’re coming up on 13 years married, and I’m pretty darn grateful that we still just enjoy hanging out doin’ stuff.

Bonus for me, she puts up with me being an idiot all the time:

Meanwhile …

  • The Cubs are in yet another absurd stretch of no hits with runners in scoring position. Another 0-8 last night pushes them up to 0-fer-their-last-25. Super long streak? Yes. Uncharted territory for the Cubs? Nope:

  • Some of it is flukey BABIP stuff, sure, but with this particular group of hitters, we’ve seen these stretches repeatedly, *AND* we’ve seen them consistently be one of the few teams that manages to hit worse in those situations than they do with the bases empty – thanks to shifting, holding runners, and pitcher stress, that should virtually never happen. Yet it happens to this group of Cubs often (by wRC+), including this year so far.
  • And the two numbers are only even close because of walks – when you look at just batting average, which actually does kinda matter when you’re talking about runners in scoring position – it’s so ugly. The Cubs have the 11th best batting average in baseball with the bases empty (.246), but the fourth worst batting average in baseball with runners in scoring position (.239). The offense is still good overall, but man, they are leaving a whole lot of runs out there this year.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Important reliever injury/rehab notes, with a very hoped-for-return from Pedro Strop tonight:

  • With the Cubs very well rested, it’s conceivable that last night’s heavy bullpen usage won’t impact tonight much, but it still would be nice to get a fresh arm in there – especially if that arm is Strop’s.
  • As for Brandon Morrow, he started throwing on flat ground again 10 days ago, so hopefully he’s close to getting back on the mound, which would leave open that slight chance he’s back before the Trade Deadline. We don’t have any real sense of whether he’s close to getting back on the mound, though, and we long passed the point where the Cubs can count on anything from him this year. Planning must proceed as though he’s out or ineffective the rest of the way.
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  • Something that sucks all the more about the missed call on Dillon Maples last night? It’s clear his command is improved as his confidence grows – this is from before the outing:

  • Poor Albert Almora. You’re gearing up for 104 mph, and Jordan Hicks does this to you:

  • I think the Cubs were hoping for a pulled groundball:

  • Michael and Luis did their best to stay sharp for the post-post-game:

  • Notable, but unsurprising:

  • The White Sox part is meh, but this is otherwise fantastic:

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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.