Terrible Game, Kimbrel's Outing, Still Love Javy, Pop Fly Homers, and Other Bullets

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Terrible Game, Kimbrel’s Outing, Still Love Javy, Pop Fly Homers, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Look, all the Cubs have to do is beat Jacob deGrom today to split a series at home against the Mets. No big deal.

  • Bad, very bad, no good, awful, bad, terrible, just bad. “We played a terrible game. There’s no question,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told Cubs.com. “We had a bad game. We have to do better than that. We are better than that. I cannot defend some of the plays – I can’t. We just, we’re better than that.” Time to show it, chaps.
  • Brad Brach got a mop up inning yesterday, and naturally threw a scoreless frame. I remain very frustrated that he was given the 7th inning in a tie game the day before, but clearly the Cubs are hopeful that he can turn things around. I just don’t know how it will logistically work with all of Craig Kimbrel, Tony Barnette, Carl Edwards Jr., and Kyle Hendricks coming/returning in the next few weeks. Rowan Wick can be optioned, I supposed, but outside of that, there will simply have to be some “injuries” and roster dumps. And that’s to say nothing of a July trade addition, and/or the emergence of a AAA arm like Dillon Maples or Junichi Tazawa or James Norwood or Dakota Mekkes or Duane Underwood Jr. (who has been good as a reliever).
  • Speaking of which, Craig Kimbrel got his back-to-back outing under his belt, throwing 14 pitches, recording two outs (one via strikeout), allowing a walk and a homer. He was 93 to 95 mph with his fastball, which you try not to worry about since it’s a minor league game and he’s still ramping up, but usually he’s well above 95 mph even in Spring Training. I don’t know. I don’t think that I think anything yet, but it has to be on your radar, given his age (31) and his unusual offseason. I mean, there’s an ocean of difference between 93 mph and 98 mph. Hopefully it’s all a lot of nothing.
  • The tentative expectation, if he still feels good, is for Kimbrel to throw at Iowa again on Tuesday(ish) and then join the big league Cubs on Thursday(ish). Don’t consider those set in stone by any means.
  • In addition to Victor Caratini’s stellar play and scoreless 9th, the one other good thing from yesterday’s game:

  • If you make a very bad pitch, but the hitter mis-hits it … but the wind helps it go out to the uniquely shallowest specific spot of the only ballpark where that isn’t a routine fly out, is it bad luck that it went out or standard luck because you made the very bad pitch? And it only would have been lucky that the guy mis-hit it in the first place? Anyway, that was probably confusing, but I just thought it was interesting when watching this very bad Jose Quintana pitch that Todd Frazier thought he missed and popped to left field … but it carried to the one spot in the one park where it’s a home run:

  • I’m not sure you can say that’s “bad” luck, given the pitch. I do think you can say that it was unfortunate that it failed to be good luck! More on Quintana’s struggles here.
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Oh, good, the Cubs will get to face another minor league call-up for a spot start. They have fared so well against those guys recently …

  • Very nice to see just how strongly Alex Lange has turned around his season. Something was clearly just off for him to begin the year at High-A, it got fixed, he started cruising, and now the 2017 first round pick is up to AA:

  • With Lange getting that bump to AA, and with Adbert Alzolay in the bigs, I wonder if we’ll soon see someone from the AA Tennessee rotation get a shot at Iowa. Tyson Miller would be an obvious candidate, given how dominant he’s been at AA. You could also make an argument for Cory Abbott, or a developmental argument for Oscar De La Cruz.
  • Happy Anniversary:



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.